Toyotas will lead the field to the green flag as last week’s winner, Martin Truex Jr., will start on front row next to Carl Edwards for the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at The Magic Mile.
Carl Edwards nailed down his third pole of the season when he sped to a lap of 135.453 mph (28.119 seconds) in the third round of qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday afternoon, besting Martin Truex Jr. by 0.050. He will start alongside Edwards for the Bad Boy Off Road 300 on Sunday.
Article continues below ...
“I think that – well, I don’t know,” Edwards began, when asked about why he has more poles than a year ago. “I’d say that the way JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) operates and the way that we can look at and share information between the drivers and the crews, I’d say that helps a lot. It makes the weekend usually get off to a pretty fast start and then during qualifying – this year specifically.”
Edwards claimed he doesn’t know where he is in the Chase standings although he believes his crew chief Dave Roberts won’t hesitate to be aggressive in the race to solidify his chances of advancing to the Round of 12 that begins in Charlotte next month.
“Dave’s not scared of anything. I mean, he literally comes to the race track ready to go and I’ve never seen him go, ‘Ah, we should be conservative here.’ We did not have the race we wanted to in Chicago and that was tough and I went to the shop early in the week and Dave was over that pretty quickly.
“He was focused really hard here on this race and, yeah, we hope we’re in victory lane here, but I can already – I know what will happen if we have a bad race on Sunday. Dave will just be ready to win at Dover and that’s what we’ve got to do, so hopefully we can just get to victory lane here and move on, but we will not quit. This team’s pretty spectacular. So, yeah, we’re not taking it easy I guess – long version of that.”
Meanwhile, Truex is not going to rest on his laurels just because he is locked into the next round off his win at Chicagoland Speedway last week. When asked what his strategy will be for this race?
Ten cars did not get through inspection before qualifying, including three Chase drivers, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Tony Stewart. However, they were the beneficiary of a Clint Boyer spin that brought out the red flag and gave them time to get through and make their runs. They will start 19, 29 and 22, respectively. Boyer will start 37th.
HERE IS THE STARTING LINEUP FOR THE BAD BOY OFF ROAD 300: * Denotes a Chase driver 1 – Carl Edwards* 2 – Martin Truex Jr.* 3 – Ryan Newman 4 – Jimmie Johnson* 5 – Denny Hamlin* 6 – Kyle Larson* 7 – Jamie McMurray* 8 – Matt Kenseth* 9 – Kasey Kahne 10 – Chase Elliott* 11 – Brad Keselowski* 12 – Kyle Busch* 13 – Kurt Busch* 14 – Paul Menard 15 – Joey Logano* 16 – Ryan Blaney 17 – AJ Allmendinger 18 – Alex Bowman 19 – Kevin Harvick* 20 – Michael McDowell 21 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 22 – Tony Stewart* 23 – David Ragan 24 – Danica Patrick 25 – Brian Scott 26 – Aric Almirola 27 – Trevor Bayne 28 – Chris Buescher* 29 – Austin Dillon* 30 – Regan Smith 31 – Casey Mears 32 – Greg Biffle 33 – Matt DiBenedetto 34 – Landon Cassill 35 – Michael Annett 36 – Cole Whitt 37 – Clint Boyer 38 – Reed Sorenson 39 – Josh Wise 40 – Jeffrey Earnhardt