Edwards wins pole in New Hampshire

Carl Edwards

As Carl Edwards put it, "things just feel right."

That was Edwards' take on the state of affairs at Joe Gibbs Racing, after he put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

"Right now it just feels right," said Edwards, who toured the Magic Mile in 28.179 seconds (135.164 mph) in Friday's qualifying session to earn his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at New Hampshire and the 14th of his career.

"It's just cool, man. My expectation is to do the best we can (on Sunday). My hope is that we win this thing. … We've been working very hard to bring this team together to be the best that we can be. It just feels right. This is cool. It's a lot of fun."

With JGR teammate Kyle Busch winning last Saturday’s event at Kentucky, the organization placed all its drivers in the top five, with Denny Hamlin, Edwards and Matt Kenseth trailing second-place Joey Logano of Team Penske.

Coincidentally, Logano (135.021 mph) qualified second to Edwards on Friday, with Michael Waltrip Racing's David Ragan third (also at 135.021 mph) and Busch (134.025 mph) and Hamlin (134.601 mph) fourth and fifth, respectively.

Edwards, who improved dramatically on his previous average starting position of 14.9 at New Hampshire, didn’t believe initially that he had won the pole until he got reassurance from crew chief Darian Grubb.

On the other hand, Logano wasn't particularly thrilled to run second to a Gibbs driver for the second time in six days.

"Second — it seems like the story of our week, coming off Kentucky with a strong second-place run and then qualifying second here as well," Logano said. "Not that I'm complaining about it, but it's not much fun finishing second, being so close to getting trophies and pole flags and all the fun stuff.

"There's not really much fun that happens when you finish second, but we're close. We've got speed in our race car once again."

Danica Patrick advanced to the second round of knockout qualifying and will start 20th, one spot behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon, still seeking his first victory in his last season of full-time Sprint Cup racing, will start 23rd.

"Yeah, it's not been a good day for us with the No. 24 car," Gordon acknowledged. "We've been struggling getting the car to do what we need it to do. Just real tight through the center, need to get it to rotate, need some front grip, so we will go to work on it (Saturday in practice).

"It's disappointing that we didn't qualify better. We typically qualify well here and perform well here. We'll put this day behind us and go work on it tomorrow and get it ready for Sunday."

Reed Sorenson, this week's driver in the Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet, failed to qualify for the 43-car field for the fifth time this season.

Results

Pos. # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Sport Clips 135.164 28.179 Leader
2 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 135.021 28.209 0.03
3 55 David Ragan Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 135.021 28.209 0.03
4 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Interstate Batteries 134.725 28.271 0.092
5 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 134.601 28.297 0.118
6 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation 134.596 28.298 0.119
7 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 134.501 28.318 0.139
8 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 134.43 28.333 0.154
9 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Great Clips 134.397 28.34 0.161
10 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite 134.023 28.419 0.24
11 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's/Cessna 133.999 28.424 0.245
12 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's/ Budweiser 133.591 28.511 0.332
13 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Interstate Moving Services/Precon Marine Inc. 134.174 28.387 0.208
14 16 Greg Biffle Ford Safety-Kleen Ford Fusion 134.075 28.408 0.229
15 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row/Visser Precision 134.042 28.415 0.236
16 21 Ryan Blaney Ford SKF 134.009 28.422 0.243
17 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target 133.802 28.466 0.287
18 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy 133.788 28.469 0.29
19 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Nationwide 133.464 28.538 0.359
20 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy 133.45 28.541 0.362
21 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 133.403 28.551 0.372
22 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Better Than Bouillon 133.184 28.598 0.419
23 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet AARP MEMBER ADVANTAGES 133.068 28.623 0.444
24 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Dow 132.924 28.654 0.475
25 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 132.877 28.664 0.485
26 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans 132.715 28.699 0.52
27 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford Shaws/Smithfield 132.623 28.719 0.54
28 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Richmond/Menards 132.609 28.722 0.543
29 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 132.531 28.739 0.56
30 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 132.526 28.74 0.561
31 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 132.388 28.77 0.591
32 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Fastenal Ford Fusion 132.172 28.817 0.638
33 35 Cole Whitt Ford Taco Bell 132.103 28.832 0.653
34 34 Brett Moffitt Ford Dockside Logistics 131.656 28.93 0.751
35 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Burger King 131.37 28.993 0.814
36 26 Jeb Burton Toyota Maxim Fantasy Sports 130.972 29.081 0.902
37 38 David Gilliland Ford MDS 130.765 29.127 0.948
38 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Pilot Flying J 130.3 29.231 1.052
39 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota Dr. Pepper 129.384 29.438 1.259
40 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 129.103 29.502 1.323
41 32 Eddie MacDonald Ford Draftdemons.com 128.994 29.527 1.348
42 33 Derek White Chevrolet Braille Battery/Grafoid 126.165 30.189 2.01
43 98 Timmy Hill Ford

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