Carl Edwards snags pole position from Larson at Watkins Glen

Carl Edwards swept the poles on road courses for 2016.

Carl Edwards snags pole position from Larson at Watkins Glen

Edwards, who was second quick in the first round, improved his position with a lap of 126.562mph (69.689-seconds) for his 20th career Cup pole, his career-best fourth of the season and his second at Watkins Glen International.

“I think tomorrow is going to be a little bit of an adventure,” Edwards said. "The new pavement nobody knows how that’s going to go along deep into the runs with tire build up. I think the braking zones are pretty tough and it’s going to be nice and warm.

“So, just got to stay upfront, can’t make any mistakes. I love road races. They’re so much fun. I got to talk to Boris Said who’s basically my road racing coach to start so that was cool today. Hopefully tonight get me some good rest and hopefully be very competitive tomorrow.”

Kyle Larson will start second in the Cheez-It 355 on Sunday — his best starting position in 2016. Larson’s lap of 126.233mph (69.871-sec.) is also his best effort at the Glen. Tony Stewart, making his final run at the 2.45-mile circuit, was third quick (126.177mph) followed by the Toyotas of Matt Kenseth (126.104 mph) and Denny Hamlin (126.002mph). 

"I was super happy with all the effort that all the guys on the Target Chevy put in yesterday,” Larson said. "We changed just about everything yesterday; and finally got some grip there late in practice. And we still could use some more. But, it was fun.

“I didn’t think I’d end up second. I didn’t even think I ran that good of a lap the first round. I missed the bus stop pretty bad. I think if I would have just not tried to brake as deep."

Joey Logano topped the first round. He was the sixth car out on the track, but could only muster the sixth fastest lap overall (125.924mph) during Saturday’s time trials.

Ryan Newman qualified eighth (125.831mph) and told the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing crew after his run, “Best we've been in qualifying trim all weekend.”

AJ Allmendinger (125.623mph), Jamie McMurray (125.536mph), Michael McDowell (125.370mph) and Brad Keselowski (124.981mph) will comprise rows five and six. 

Round One 

Joey Logano needed just one lap to finish P1 in the first round of qualifying with a lap of 126.216mph. 

Carl Edwards completed his second attempt just as the session ended and finished second quick with a lap of 125.933mph. Brad Keselowski posted a speed of 125.757mph on his fourth lap.

At 15:18:95 in the first session, NASCAR called a caution for debris in the inner loop. 

AJ Allmendinger was leading the round with a time of 124.413mph (70.893-sec.) with Denny Hamlin 0.168-seconds behind. But when the session resumed, the next wave of cars shook up the top 12. 

With less than five minutes on the clock, Allmendinger took another run — his third lap on the track and jumped up to second behind Logano with a speed of 125.709mph, but finished fourth followed by Jamie McMurray (125.691mph) and Matt Kenseth (125.655mph). 

Michael McDowell (125.555mph) — a former driving instructor from the Bondurant Racing School outside of Phoenix — was seventh fastest followed by Kyle Larson (125.509 mph), Denny Hamlin (125.407mph), Kyle Busch (125.371mph), Ryan Newman (125.140mph) and five-time Glen winner Tony Stewart (125.005mph).

Ryan Newman got off course in the inner loop and recovered to finish 12th among the first 36 drivers to take a time. After being knocked out of the top 12, Newman made a last minute dash and finished 11th. 

Several notable missed transferring to the final round. Jimmie Johnson’s (13th) run was impeded as was Martin Truex Jr. (14th).  

Truex, who was fastest in first practice, was bumped out of the top 12 in the first round after he was blocked on his qualifying run by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. His best lap was 14th quick (124.968mph). He had some harsh words for the Roush Fenway racer after the first round (Read his comments here).

Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon qualified 15th, 17th and 21st, respectively. Chase Elliott (16th) was the fastest rookie.

Cla#DriverManufacturerTimeGapMph
1 19  Carl Edwards  Toyota 69.689   126.562
2 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 69.871 0.182 126.233
3 14  Tony Stewart  Chevrolet 69.902 0.213 126.177
4 20  Matt Kenseth  Toyota 69.942 0.253 126.104
5 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 69.945 0.256 126.099
6 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 69.999 0.310 126.002
7 22  Joey Logano  Ford 70.042 0.353 125.924
8 31  Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 70.094 0.405 125.831
9 47  A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 70.210 0.521 125.623
10 1  Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 70.259 0.570 125.536

CLICK HERE for complete starting lineup

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