Carl Edwards has now swept this season’s poles at Bristol Motor Speedway. He’s hoping to also sweep the Sprint Cup racing here.
Edwards, winner in April of the Food City 500, once again won the pole Friday with a final-round speed of 131.407 mph.
He did that without ever rehearsing a qualifying lap during Friday’s two practices.
“Having the pole position was really just looking at our teammates’ notes – how open everyone is” at Joe Gibbs Racing, Edwards said. “And it all starts with Coach Gibbs.”
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While Edwards has a pattern of success here, he certainly doesn’t think he has Bristol all figured out.
“I don’t know exactly what we’ll see in the race. Everyone will be watching the Xfinity race (later Friday). I’m very curious where the line goes,” Edwards said. “We’re in the Chase and we get to chase the track a little bit as the lines change.”
This was Edwards’ fifth pole this season and the 21st pole of his Sprint Cup career. Four of those poles have been at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Edwards was followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Matt Kenseth. Hamilin set the Bristol record for qualifying speed in the first round at 131.668 mph.
Other notables to advance to the third round of qualifying Friday: Jeff Gordon, driving for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr., will start 11th. Rookie Chris Buescher, winner in Pocono but still needing to finish in the top 30 to qualify for the Chase, starts 12th.
College student promotion for Charlotte
Rookie Sprint Cup driver Chase Elliott and Charlotte Motor Speedway are partnering on a promotion to draw college students to the Bank of America 500, the only night race in the Chase.
Under the label “Chase University” the promotion will offer discounted tickets to the Oct. 8 race to students with valid college IDs. These passes can be purchased for $24, symbolic of Elliott’s car number.
Students will be invited to a race-day concert and tailgating games, along with food and beverage opportunities. Elliott will make a pre-race appearance at the event.