By AMANDA VINCENT
Carl Edwards turned in a 27.604-second/137.980 mph during the final round of pole qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Friday to claim the pole for Sunday’s Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track. Edward’s third-round lap was the fastest lap, overall, of the three-round qualifying session. His latest pole is his third of the season and the second of his career at NHMS. It completes a 2015 pole sweep at New Hampshire, as his other NHMS pole came when the Sprint Cup Series visited the facility earlier this season.
“We got a great start to the Chase, and we’re just keeping that rolling,” Edwards said.
Edwards heads into the Sylvania 300, the second race of the 10-race Chase, tied with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch for third in the standings, three points behind leader and JGR teammate Matt Kenseth and a point behind another JGR driver, Denny Hamlin.
Edwards will share the front row with fellow-Chase for the Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick. Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch will start third, sharing the second row with former teammate at Team Penske, Brad Keselowski.
“I feel like we’re in a good spot,” Keselowski said. “I just wish it was three spots higher, but it’s something to be proud of.”
Chase drivers swept the top-five in qualifying, with Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top-five in the third and final round of the qualifying session.
Kurt Busch was tops in the opening round, with a 27.661-second/137.696 mph lap. Johnson was fastest in lap two, posting a fast lap of 27.640 seconds, 137.800 mph. Kyle Larson was second in each of the first two rounds before winding up with the sixth spot in the starting grid after a sixth-fastest lap in round three.
Clint Bowyer was the lowest qualifier among the 16 Chase drivers, qualifying 26th. He was the only Chaser who failed to advance to lap two of qualifying by failing to finish out round one in the top-24.
Here is the complete starting grid for Sunday’s Sylvania 300:
Row 1 — Carl Edwards (No. 19 Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet)
Row 2 — Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet), Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford)
Row 3 — Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet)
Row 4 — Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota), Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford)
Row 5 — Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet), Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Chevrolet)
Row 6 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet), Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet)
Row 7 — Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17 Ford)
Row 8 — Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford), Austin Dillon (No. 3 Chevrolet)
Row 9 — Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota), David Ragan (No. 55 Ford)
Row 10 — Casey Mears (No. 13 Chevrolet), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet)
Row 11 — Martin Truex (No. 78 Chevrolet), Danica Patrick (No. 10 Chevrolet)
Row 12 — Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevrolet), Justin Allgaier (No. 51 Chevrolet)
Row 13 — Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford), Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Toyota)
Row 14 — Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), Cole Whitt (No. 35 Ford)
Row 15 — Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 9 Ford), A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet)
Row 16 — Brett Moffitt (No. 34 Ford), Landon Cassill (No. 40 Chevrolet)
Row 17 — Trevor Bayne (No. 6 Ford), David Gilliland (No. 38 Ford)
Row 18 — Matt KiBenedetto (No. 83 Toyota), Alex Bowman (No. 7 Chevrolet)
Row 19 — Ryan Preece (No. 98 Chevrolet), Michael Annett (No. 46 Chevrolet)
Row 20 — B.J. McLeod (No. 33 Chevrolet), Josh Wise (No. 26 Toyota)
Row 21 — Jeb Burton (No. 23 Toyota), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 32 Ford)
Row 22 — Timmy Hill (No. 62 Ford)
DNQ (did not qualify) — Travis Kvapil
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