Carl Edwards Toyota on pole in Loudon

Carl Edwards celebrates his pole. Out of nowhere Toyota is winning everything in NASCAR. Did they threaten to leave NASCAR if they didn't finally win the championship this year.
Carl Edwards celebrates his pole. Out of nowhere Toyota is winning everything in NASCAR. Did they threaten to leave NASCAR if they didn't finally win the championship this year.

Posting the fastest lap of Friday's time trials late in the final round of knockout qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards knocked Kevin Harvick off the pole for Sunday's Sylvania 300, the second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Edwards covered the 1.058-mile distance in 27.604 seconds (137.980 mph) to earn his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his second at New Hampshire — completing a season sweep of the top starting spot at the Magic Mile — and the 16th of his career.

"To be honest, that third round surprised me, how fast we were," said Edwards, who was 11th fastest in the second round. "I think it helped me almost to struggle through the second round, 'cause I thought, 'Aw, heck with it,' and I just kind of went for it in the third round.

"The car has a ton of speed. I hate to admit how poorly I drove it the first and second rounds, but I think it really says a lot about how fast the car is."

Needing a victory or an extremely high finish to restore his hopes of repeating as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Harvick (137.845 mph) posted a lap .027 seconds slower than that the pole winner to earn the second-place starting spot.

"I felt like I probably left those few hundredths of a second not being aggressive enough off the exit of Turn 2, and as good as the car was off of Turn 4," Harvick said. "Small crumbs. It's hard to balance that here, because if you push the car too much, you wind up giving up two or three tenths (of a second) instead of two or three hundredths."

Harvick, however, declined to address his confrontation with Jimmie Johnson after last Sunday's Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway. Side-to-side contact with Johnson's Chevrolet ultimately flattened the left rear tire of Harvick's No. 4 Chevy, sending him spinning into the Turn 3 wall and relegating him to a 42nd-place finish.

That result left Harvick last in the 16-driver Chase standings and incensed at the six-time champion. When Johnson approached the reigning champ in the motor coach lot after the race, Harvick responded with a blow to Johnson's chest, as one of Harvick's handlers tried to keep the drivers apart.

Asked whether Johnson might have something to worry about in Sunday's race, Harvick replied, "I don't look back. I just do what we have to do to focus on what we need to do looking forward. I'm not going to use you guys (the press) to make threats. I can do that myself."

Kurt Busch, Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, qualified third at 137.800 mph, followed by Brad Keselowski (137.671 mph) and Johnson (137.621 mph), as Chase drivers claimed the top five positions on the grid.

Non-Chaser Kyle Larson was sixth fastest, while Chase drivers Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified seventh through 11th, respectively.

Other Chase competitors will start as follows: Matt Kenseth, 13th; Kyle Busch, 17th; Paul Menard, 20th; Martin Truex Jr., 21st; Jamie McMurray, 23rd and Clint Bowyer, 26th. Bowyer was the only Chase driver who failed to advance past the first round.

Travis Kvapil failed to make the 43-car field.

CARL EDWARDS, No. 19 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Starting Position: 1st

How was your qualifying effort?

"The car was super-fast in practice and I can't thank Sport Clips enough for coming on board to be on the car here and in Kansas – two really big races for me. We got a great start to the Chase and we've just keeping that rolling. We knew qualifying here'd be important, so we worked on that a lot today. The guys have been working really hard. The cars are good. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) helped me a lot. I'm starting to really enjoy coming to New Hampshire."

Is it difficult to advance the final qualifying round?

"It is tough and this place is simple, so it's pretty straightforward, but one little mistake here or there can cost you a lot. I really had to step it up. I almost didn't make the third round and had to actually kind of get myself going there that last round like, ‘Man, you've got to do this and it's a tough place to decide where to be aggressive, but our car was easy to drive and that's what made it – put us up front."

How is your Camry for Sunday?

"To be honest, that third round surprised me how fast we were and I really – I think it helped me almost to struggled through the second round because I was like, ‘To heck with it,' and I just kind of went for it the third round and the car has a ton of speed, so I hate to admit how poorly I drove it the first and second round, but I think it really says a lot about how fast the car is. Now we work on race trim and we we're in the same position in the first race here and we didn't really – we didn't execute during the race. We were kind of off and I think we learned a bunch from that, so hopefully we can be a lot better here."

How strong is the Camry?

"It's really amazing how this JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) group is working together. I can't thank Sport Clips for coming on board enough. They'll be on the car here and at Kansas. All the guys at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – we worked really hard this week and we're giving 100 percent for the Chase. It's a good way to start the race."

Will you have to wait for practice tomorrow to know how strong the car is for the race?

"We'll have to wait until tomorrow. It's like Groundhog Day, we did this in the spring and we didn't get the car right for the race and I think we learned a bunch from that. Now we'll work on it. This place is tough and once the sun comes out, you get a little rubber on the track tomorrow then we'll be good."


Pos. # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Sport Clips 137.980 27.604 +0.000s
2 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Ditech 137.845 27.631 +0.027
3 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation 137.800 27.640 +0.036
4 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite 137.671 27.666 +0.062
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet LOWE'S PRO SERVICES 137.621 27.676 +0.072
6 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target Plaid 137.517 27.697 +0.093
7 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 137.457 27.709 +0.105
8 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 137.378 27.725 +0.121
9 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Caterpillar 137.022 27.797 +0.193
10 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 136.580 27.887 +0.283
11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Nationwide 136.560 27.891 +0.287
12 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 136.365 27.931 +0.327
13 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 136.943 27.813 +0.209
14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford Ford EcoBoost Ford Fusion 136.825 27.837 +0.233
15 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 136.697 27.863 +0.259
16 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Cheerios 136.516 27.900 +0.296
17 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Pedigree 136.409 27.922 +0.318
18 55 David Ragan Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 136.360 27.932 +0.328
19 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 136.306 27.943 +0.339
20 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Sylvania / Menards 136.082 27.989 +0.385
21 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row/Visser Precision 136.048 27.996 +0.392
22 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy 135.951 28.016 +0.412
23 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet FLIR 135.516 28.106 +0.502
24 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 135.333 28.144 +0.540
25 16 Greg Biffle Ford Kleen Performance Products Ford Fusion 135.796 28.048 +0.444
26 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5+Hour Energy 135.772 28.053 +0.449
27 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 135.651 28.078 +0.474
28 35 Cole Whitt Ford Taco Bell 135.607 28.087 +0.483
29 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford Shaws/Smithfield 135.554 28.098 +0.494
30 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Bush's Chili Beans 135.448 28.120 +0.516
31 34 Brett Moffitt Ford Dockside Logistics LLC 135.333 28.144 +0.540
32 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Interstate Moving Services 135.121 28.188 +0.584
33 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 135.021 28.209 +0.605
34 38 David Gilliland Ford MDS Transportation 134.620 28.293 +0.689
35 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Cosmo Motors 134.411 28.337 +0.733
36 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet Nikko RC/Toy State Car 134.292 28.362 +0.758
37 98 Ryan Preece Ford Mohawk Northeast, Inc. 134.117 28.399 +0.795
38 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Switch Hitch 133.553 28.519 +0.915
39 33 B J McLeod Chevrolet TBA 132.526 28.740 +1.136
40 26 Josh Wise Toyota Maxim 132.213 28.808 +1.204
41 23 Jeb Burton Toyota Bullhorn 132.177 28.816 +1.212
42 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt Ford ARUNDEL FORD/ WEIRS GMC/ BANGOR TRUCK EQUIPMENT 131.948 28.866 +1.262
43 62 Timmy Hill Chevrolet TBA 129.878 29.326 +1.722

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