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Carl Edwards Wins 2015 5-hour Energy 301 Pole At New Hampshire

Joe Gibbs Racing took their hot streak up north. One week after posting four cars inside the top five at Kentucky Speedway – a first for the team in its 23-year history within NASCAR – JGR followed up with a pole-winning run by Carl Edwards, one that puts them in position to contend in Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301. The No. 19 Toyota outgunned the other 43 cars making attempts, clocking in with a speed of 135.164 mph to earn Edwards’s first pole of the year and the 14th of his Sprint Cup career.

“I’ve struggled at this racetrack so this is big for me personally,” said Edwards, who has just two top-five finishes at the track over the past decade-plus. “Everybody at JGR has been working so hard. Right now, it just feels right.”

It’s the sign of a potential turnaround for Edwards, posting only three top-10 results within the season’s first 18 races. His teammates weren’t far behind him on the grid, with Kyle Busch (fourth), Denny Hamlin (fifth) and Matt Kenseth (eighth) flexing JGR’s muscle a second straight week. Despite running the old rules package, one that they’ve struggled with this season the organization is making progress just when it seemed their Chevrolet competition was uncatchable.

“I think everybody has kind of done their work and everybody has really been digging hard at being able to put everything together for us,” explained Kyle Busch. “We’ll just hope that continues and we’re hitting our stride at the right time as a company.”

Joey Logano sits on the outside of row 1, a solid effort as he looks to repeat last fall’s trip to Victory Lane during the Chase. Teammate Brad Keselowski qualified 10th, as Team Penske easily was the best Ford team on-track Friday. Chevrolet, after dominating much of the 2015 season could do no better than sixth (Kurt Busch) as just three of their cars qualified inside the top 10. Point leader Kevin Harvick, who has failed to lead a lap in two straight races wound up 12th, the worst-performing car inside the final round of qualifying.

Among those who struggled, continuing their recent trends were Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Gordon starts a distant 23rd, easily the worst of the Hendrick Motorsports cars, while Stewart didn’t even make it out of the first round. He clocked in 25th.

David Gilliland, Michael Annett, JJ Yeley, Alex Bowman, Eddie MacDonald, Derek White (making his Cup debut) and Timmy Hill were forced to take provisionals to make the field. Hill’s teammate, Reed Sorenson was the only DNQ in the No. 62 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet.

2015 5-HOUR ENERGY 301 QUALIFYING SPEEDS

PositionCar NumberDriverManufacturerSpeed (mph)
119Carl EdwardsToyota135.164
222Joey LoganoFord135.021
355David RaganToyota135.021
418Kyle BuschToyota134.725
511Denny HamlinToyota134.601
641Kurt BuschChevrolet134.596
748Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet134.501
820Matt KensethToyota134.430
95Kasey KahneChevrolet134.397
102Brad KeselowskiFord134.023
111Jamie McMurrayChevrolet133.999
124Kevin HarvickChevrolet133.591
1340Landon Cassill (i)Chevrolet134.174
1416Greg BiffleFord134.075
1578Martin Truex, Jr.Chevrolet134.042
1621Ryan Blaney (i)Ford134.009
1742Kyle LarsonChevrolet133.802
1815Clint Bowyer Toyota133.788
1988Dale Earnhardt, Jr.Chevrolet133.464
2010Danica PatrickChevrolet133.450
2113Casey MearsChevrolet133.403
2247A.J. AllmendingerToyota133.184
2324Jeff GordonChevrolet133.068
243Austin DillonChevrolet132.924
2514Tony StewartChevrolet132.877
2631Ryan NewmanChevrolet132.715
279Sam Hornish, Jr.Ford132.623
2827Paul MenardChevrolet132.609
2943Aric AlmirolaFord132.531
3051Justin AllgaierChevrolet132.526
316Trevor BayneFord132.388
3217Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.Ford132.172
3335Cole WhittFord132.103
3434Brett Moffitt (R)Ford131.656
3583Matt DiBenedetto (R)Toyota131.370
3626Jeb Burton (R)Toyota130.972
3738David GillilandFordOwner Pts
3846Michael AnnettChevroletOwner Pts
3923J.J. Yeley (i)ToyotaOwner Pts
407Alex BowmanToyotaOwner Pts
4132Eddie MacDonaldFordOwner Pts
4233Derek White (i)ChevroletOwner Pts
4398Timmy HillFordOwner Pts

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