Carl Edwards, driving the #19 Sports Clip Toyota, won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. Edwards claimed the pole with a lap of 27.604 seconds or 137.980 mph. Brad Keselowski holds the track record with a lap time of 27.09 seconds or 140.598 mph.
Edwards has 16 career poles in 401 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and his third pole for the 2015 season. Edwards has the season sweep at NHMS this season after posting the top speed in the first practice session earlier this afternoon.
“We got a great start to the Chase and we’re just keeping that rolling,” said Edwards. “We knew qualifying was important so we worked on it a lot today. The guys have been working really hard. The cars are good.”
“I’m starting to really enjoy coming to New Hampshire,” said Edwards, a Missouri native.
Joe Gibbs Racing has been the dominant cars at the track the last few weeks, but only two of its four cars found their way to the final round of qualifying at NHMS. With Edwards winning the pole and Denny Hamlin qualifying seventh, Matt Kenseth qualified 13th and Kyle Busch qualified 17th. Busch won the July race this season.
In no surprise Kevin Harvick was back up front after qualifying second missing the pole by just 0.027 seconds, he has a lot a ground to cover after finishing 42nd last week in the first race of the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway. Harvick, who is the defending series champion and set a regular season points record, is hoping a good starting spot might help him get the victory he needs to keep his title defense alive.
“Everybody’s done a great job,” Harvick said. “I feel like I left it (the pole) down in (Turns) 1 and 2 down there. Just probably not aggressive. It’s a fine line of being really aggressive and going for it and not getting enough. So, the lesser of two evils is usually not getting enough and I just didn’t get enough down there.”
Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch qualified third, followed by Team Penske driver Keselowski in fourth and Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson completed the top five. Six through twelfth are as follows: Kyle Larson, Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.
The Sylvania 300 is the second of the three races in the Challenger Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Next weekend at Dover International Speedway, the last four drivers in the points will be eliminated from title contention, leaving the Contender Round with 12 drivers competing in the Chase.
The Sylvania 300 at NHMS will be televised Sunday, Sept. 27, on NBCSP at 2 p.m. ET.