Led by Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Commands Bush's Beans Pole Day
The front of the Food City 500 field will have a decidedly Joe Gibbs Racing flavor at the outset of Sunday's race.
Carl Edwards led the way on Friday on Bush's Beans Pole Day, earning his third career pole for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a lap of 127.997 mph.
"Hopefully we can turn this into a win," said Edwards, a three-time winner in the Sprint Cup competition at the high-banked half mile.
The driver of the No. 19 machine, who also won the pole for last week's race at Texas Motor Speedway, has a history of running well in the race after winning a pole at Bristol. He has finished either first or second.
"It's like everybody says, (qualifying) just sets the field," Edwards said. "We did get some race runs in (Friday) and the car drove really well. So I feel really good about our chances in the race just based on the little bit of race trim that we ran. But we've got to go out and get the car dialed in tomorrow."
Joining Edwards on the front row will be Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and defending Food City 500 winner Matt Kenseth, who qualified second with a lap of 127.419 mph.
"Fast racecars always make drivers look better," said Kenseth, a four-time Bristol winner. "We've had really fast racecars since about this time last year. Thankfully, it's carried into this season."
Sprint Cup teams practiced once Friday before qualifying. In that practice, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin led the way. The driver of the No. 11 car set the track qualifying record last August and will start fourth on Sunday.
The fourth Joe Gibbs Racing entry, the No. 18 driven by Kyle Busch, will start fifth on Sunday.
Busch is a five-time winner in Sprint Cup competition at Bristol and returns on the heels of two consecutive weekend sweeps. He swept the Camping World Truck Series-Sprint Cup weekend at Martinsville and the XFINITY-Sprint Cup weekend last week at Texas Motor Speedway.
"If we're able to continue the win streak here through Bristol, that would be pretty awesome," Busch said. "Basically take a whole month and be nothing but Busch. We'll see how it rolls this weekend, but looking for good things here."
Team Penske driver Joey Logano, who has won two of the past three Sprint Cup races at Bristol, broke up the Joe Gibbs Racing party by qualifying third.
He led the first round of qualifying, and Busch led the second.
The first round did not go as planned for Ty Dillon, who this weekend is filling in for the injured Tony Stewart as the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.
Dillon clipped the apron in Turn 2, slid down the backstretch and bumped into the back Landon Cassill's slowed car. Both cars suffered minor damage.
Dillon did not advance to the second round and will start 34th in his first Sprint Cup start at Bristol. Cassill qualified 28th.
Sprint Cup teams will be back on the track for their Food City 500 final practice at 8:30 AM Saturday.
Tickets are still available for the weekend and may be purchased at www.BristolTix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).