There couldn't have been a better birthday present for Elliott Sadler than a Bud pole at Talladega Superspeedway. Sadler, who turns 31 on Sunday, smoked the field with a lap of 188.511 mph to grab his first pole of the season and seventh of his career.
"This is the day where the crew shines," said Sadler. "Everybody in the engine shop and the fab shop, the driver can't really make much of a difference today. I just think these guys put a lot of effort in our restrictor plate program. We had a great week at Daytona.
"We need a good weekend here at Talladega, so to get a top five starting position, I think we're going to be in the top five pretty easily. That will be good. I think that would be good for the team. We need this right now and it's good to come in here and qualify good again."
Tony Stewart was second with a lap of 187.658 mph, "It's a testimony to this Home Depot crew and what they've done. They did an awesome job getting ready for this race. Hopefully tomorrow will be as good, obviously. I was surprised. I didn't think we were going to run that quick."
Carl Edwards was third with a lap of 187.320 mph.
"We didn't expect that," said Edwards. "Our Office Depot team has worked real hard. As a driver you just get in the car and try not to move the wheel. The wind was picking up a little but it was a good lap.
Dale Jarrett and Kurt Busch complete the top five.
"I know that we have good equipment here," said Jarrett. "Good engines and we have the pieces here for us to challenge to win again. It's obviously a matter of getting myself in the right position at the right time as I did last year. I think we know how to do that so it gives us a lot of confidence coming in here."
Forty-nine cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field; failing to make the show were Brent Sherman, Chad Blount, Morgan Sherpard, Stanton Barrett, Mike Wallace and Kenny Wallace.