[media-credit name=”Ed Coombs” align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]Carl Edwards was fastest in NASCAR Sprint Cup practice, but it was another Roush Fenway driver that claimed his first pole here at Bristol Motor Speedway. Greg Biffle came from 11th in practice to claim the pole for Sunday’s 52nd Annual Food City 500.
“I just couldn’t be more proud of how hard my team is working. I know a lot of people say that but we got in line with about nine minutes to go to make our bonsai run with sticker tires. Puccia called it the money lap but I still wasn’t happy with where the car was and I wanted one more change. My guys got me out with about two and a half minutes left. I got one more run in and that made the difference today of being on the front row. This is a team effort. They are working super hard and I am happy to have 811 and 3M and all the partners and Ford and everybody working hard to get our team up front.” Biffle said.
With the help of a bit of cloud cover over The World’s Fastest Half Mile, the 42 year old Roush Fenway driver was able to lay down a lap time of 15.324 seconds to take the top starting spot for the mayhem that will unfold around the bull ring in Northeast Tennessee. Biffle’s lap was good enough for his 10th pole in 334 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, and his fourth top-10 start this season. With his pole position here at Bristol, Biffle is now locked into next year’s Shootout at Daytona. The 3M Ford is no stranger to the front row here at Bristol however, as Biffle has started second three other times, most recently in March of 2011.
Biffle enters Sunday’s stanza as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader and commented on the positive vibes around the Roush Fenway camp thus far; “The team is really excited about how the season started out. We have gone from Superspeedway to a one mile track to a mile-and-a-half which is Roush Fenway flagship kind of race track. We have run very respectable at all those places and last week I would have thought that a third is nothing to shake a stick at…Practice today started off pretty decent. We were a little tight in the center of the corner, typical Bristol…We were 11th there (in NSCS Practice) and I think we have a great chance to be top-10 in qualifying.”
It doesn’t get any better than the pole here at Bristol, and a top-10 qualifying effort was exactly what Biffle got out of his 3M Ford Fusion.
AJ Allmendinger will start on the outside of the front row on Sunday with his qualifying effort earlier this afternoon here at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Ryan Newman will start third for the fourth time this season.
Jeff Gordon’s Drive to End Hunger Chevy will start fourth and defending Bristol winner Brad Keselowski will start fifth.
“Obviously you’ve got to pick up a little bit to be in the top five or six. I think we can be in that top five. I hope so. I think it was a good lap. Just a few little tweaks here and there to be a little bit better, but all in all, it was a great effort all day for our Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet and a great effort right there in qualifying.” Gordon said.
Fastest in practice today, Carl Edwards will start 8th after he climbed the hill on his qualifying run.
Other notables include Kyle Busch (13th), Kevin Harvick (14th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (18th), Jimmie Johnson (22nd), and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Tony Stewart will start 23rd.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ML_B_Lo for all of this weekend’s racing action here at Bristol Motor Speedway.
|Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway|
|15||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||124.106||15.461|
|18||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||123.866||15.491|