Carl Edwards grabbed his second NASCAR Sprint Cup pole of the year in qualifying for Sunday’s Texas Motor Speedway race.
One of the final drivers to run, Edwards produced a 27.535-second lap in his Roush Fenway Ford to beat 2012 champion Brad Keselowski’s Penske entry to the top spot.
Just 0.084sec covered the top six drivers, with joint points leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth both within that blanket.
Johnson had held provisional pole for a while before Keselowski and Kenseth came through, despite a big moment on his qualifying lap. He ended up three places clear of Kenseth, as Paul Menard and Kyle Busch got between them.
Johnson’s Hendrick team-mates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and last week’s Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon share row four.
Hours after his 2014 Furniture Row deal was announced, Martin Truex Jr. was current employer Michael Waltrip’s leading qualifier in 15th, while present Furniture Row man Kurt Busch was only 31st.
The elder Busch was one of a number of big names that newcomer Parker Kligerman outqualified, as the Nationwide Series graduate put Swan’s Toyota 23rd.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 27.535s 2. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 27.537s +0.002s 3. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 27.559s +0.024s 4. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 27.574s +0.039s 5. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 27.582s +0.047s 6. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 27.619s +0.084s 7. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 27.648s +0.113s 8. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 27.668s +0.133s 9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 27.674s +0.139s10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 27.688s +0.153s11. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 27.740s +0.205s12. Joey Logano Penske Ford 27.761s +0.226s13. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 27.780s +0.245s14. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 27.781s +0.246s15. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 27.812s +0.277s16. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 27.863s +0.328s17. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 27.884s +0.349s18. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 27.890s +0.355s19. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 27.892s +0.357s20. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 27.921s +0.386s21. Austin Dillon Childress Chevrolet 27.931s +0.396s22. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 27.961s +0.426s23. Parker Kligerman Swan Toyota 27.973s +0.438s24. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 27.989s +0.454s25. Elliott Sadler Waltrip Toyota 27.993s +0.458s26. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 28.008s +0.473s27. Casey Mears Germain Ford 28.030s +0.495s28. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 28.118s +0.583s29. David Ragan Front Row Ford 28.141s +0.606s30. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.150s +0.615s31. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.210s +0.675s32. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 28.221s +0.686s33. Mark Martin Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 28.342s +0.807s34. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 28.439s +0.904s35. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 28.523s +0.988s36. Kyle Larson Phoenix Chevrolet 28.536s +1.001s37. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 28.638s +1.103s38. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 28.671s +1.136s39. David Reutimann BK Toyota 28.680s +1.145s40. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 28.719s +1.184s41. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 28.839s +1.304s42. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 28.992s +1.457s43. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 36.845s +9.310s