Edwards wins Coors Light Pole at Indy

Carl Edwards

If Toyota and Ford are to break the Chevrolet stranglehold on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the two manufacturers took a positive step in that direction during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials on Saturday.

Underscoring the recent resurgence of Joe Gibbs Racing, Carl Edwards toured the 2.5-mile track in 49.056 seconds (183.464 mph) to put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), edging Joey Logano's Team Penske Ford (183.139 mph) by 0.087 seconds.

David Ragan (182.886 mph) qualified third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Fourth-place qualifier Tony Stewart (182.823 mph) had the fastest Chevrolet in the final round. Chevrolets have won the last 12 Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis.

Stewart, though, had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12.

The Coors Light Pole Award was Edwards' first at the Brickyard, his second of the season, his second in a row and the 15th of his career.

"After yesterday, this is amazing," Edwards said. "We started so slow yesterday and we struggled. I think at one point (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and I were looking at each other going, 'What are we going to do here?'

"It was a struggle, and everybody buckled down, worked hard — I'm so proud of my guys. TRD and Toyota have been putting so much effort into this whole program. Stanley has been behind us 100 percent — not just me, but Matt Kenseth and our whole team. This is big. It will be neat to start up front."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Kyle Busch, Edwards' JGR teammate, will start ninth on Sunday in search of his third consecutive victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Sidelined for the first 11 events of the season by injuries sustained in an accident at Daytona in February, Busch has won three of the last four races and has seven races left in which to regain eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by finishing the regular season in the top 30 in the series standings.

Entering Sunday's race, Busch is 33rd in points, 58 behind David Gilliland in 30th place.

Behind Stewart, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will line up fifth through eighth on the grid.

After qualifying, Logano and Ragan were quick to point out an unusual coincidence. Edwards, Logano and Ragan started 1-2-3, in that order, a week before at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a one-mile flat track.

The Sprint Cup cars are running a completely different high-drag aerodynamic package this week, with a nine-inch-tall rear spoiler and a one-inch wicker. Last week at Loudon, the cars featured the regular 2015 rules package with a six-inch spoiler.

"David and I were just laughing up here that these are the same three race cars that started up front at Loudon," Logano said. "A completely different race track, different package and the same cars are fast. It's good for us. We're close. Second always hurts, but it's nice to be up toward the front, especially here."

Jeff Gordon's final run at Indianapolis as a full-time driver didn't start the way the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would have hoped.

"I really think our 3M Chevrolet is really good," said Gordon, who qualified 19th. "It's been good all weekend. I feel like I underestimated the grip. I had a little wiggle out of three coming to the green and that concerned me slightly. The grip was there in Turn 4, and I was aggressive into Turn 1, but not aggressive enough.

"That's what's disappointing; it wasn't a balance issue or a speed issue. I didn't get enough speed through (Turn) 1. It adds up with this new package. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed to start back there."

Notes: Josh Wise, Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field. … Ryan Newman’s time was disallowed because he ran his lap without the mandatory right-side window in his car. Newman will start 43rd on Sunday on a provisional.

Results

Pos # Driver Manufacturer Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 19 Carl Edwards Toyota Stanley 183.464 49.056 Leader
2 22 Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil 183.139 49.143 –0.087
3 55 David Ragan Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 182.886 49.211 –0.155
4 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops 182.823 49.228 –0.172
5 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target 182.634 49.279 –0.223
6 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's/ Budweiser 182.448 49.329 –0.273
7 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy 182.382 49.347 –0.291
8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet Nationwide 182.308 49.367 –0.311
9 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Skittles 182.278 49.375 –0.319
10 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's/Cessna 182.238 49.386 –0.330
11 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Duracell / Menards 182.028 49.443 –0.387
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Kobalt Tools 181.987 49.454 –0.398
13 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet Furniture Row/Visser Precision 183.240 49.116 –0.060
14 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Haas Automation 183.072 49.161 –0.105
15 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy 183.001 49.180 –0.124
16 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 182.667 49.270 –0.214
17 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 182.637 49.278 –0.222
18 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford Medallion Bank 182.482 49.320 –0.264
19 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 3M 182.389 49.345 –0.289
20 16 Greg Biffle Ford Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Fusion 182.360 49.353 –0.297
21 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 182.238 49.386 –0.330
22 43 Aric Almirola Ford Eckrich 182.113 49.420 –0.364
23 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General 182.079 49.429 –0.373
24 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet TBA 181.939 49.467 –0.411
25 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Dow – Mycogen 181.928 49.470 –0.414
26 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet Kroger/Kingsford Charcoat 181.910 49.475 –0.419
27 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet FARMERS 181.386 49.618 –0.562
28 25 Chase Elliott Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 181.036 49.714 –0.658
29 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford NOS Energy Drink Ford Fusion 180.963 49.734 –0.678
30 21 Ryan Blaney Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane / JDRF 180.919 49.746 –0.690
31 2 Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite 180.854 49.764 –0.708
32 95 Michael McDowell Ford Thrivent Financial 180.777 49.785 –0.729
33 6 Trevor Bayne Ford Advocare Ford Fusion 180.469 49.870 –0.814
34 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet Switch Hitch 180.426 49.882 –0.826
35 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet Marsh Supermarkets Chevrolet 180.325 49.910 –0.854
36 33 Brian Scott Chevrolet Shore Lodge 180.022 49.994 –0.938
37 38 David Gilliland Ford FFA 179.472 50.147 –1.091
38 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota Dr. Pepper 179.412 50.164 –1.108
39 34 Brett Moffitt Ford CSX Play It Safe 179.376 50.174 –1.118
40 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota VooDoo BBQ & Grill 178.912 50.304 –1.248
41 35 Cole Whitt Ford Speed Stick 177.778 50.625 –1.569
42 98 Timmy Hill Ford Curb Records 166.018 54.211 –5.155
43 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Grainger 0.000 0.000 -49.056

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