Carl Edwards edged AJ Allmendinger to earn the stop starting spot today on the road course race at Sonoma Raceway.
Edwards ran a lap at 95.777 mph around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile track in qualifying Saturday to put his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the top starting spot for the third time this season.
“Man this car is fast,” said Edwards, the winner at Sonoma in 2014.
AJ Allmendinger qualified second with a lap at 95.676 mph in his JTG Daugherty Chevrolet. Allmendinger was last year’s pole winner and believed he had a shot at it again on Saturday.
“When I saw Carl’s first lap, I was like, I don’t care what kind of lap I run, I’m never going to catch that,” Allmendinger said. “There’s no pressure on me. He’s won here before. We just have to go out and have a solid day.”
Despite being one of the best road course racers in NASCAR, Allmendinger has just one victory — two years ago at Watkins Glen. A win today would give him a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Edwards thought he “narrowly got the pole” over Allmendinger, and doesn’t consider himself the sure favorite today.
“I think every guy that is starting this race, every guy and girl, is looking at themselves as a favorite,” he said. “This place is so tough and it’s been so tough for me that a win would be spectacular. I really think it’s going to be a tough race. It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be difficult.”
Martin Truex Jr. qualified third in a Toyota for Furniture Row Racing, while Kurt Busch was fourth for Stewart-Haas Racing. Kyle Larson completed the top five, as Chevy drivers took three of the top five spots.
Denny Hamlin qualified sixth and was followed by Joey Logano, the highest-qualifying Ford driver, defending race winner Kyle Busch and Paul Menard. Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 12.
Power wins Indy Car pole at Road America: Will Power has earned the pole for the IndyCar series race at Road America with a speed of 141.379 mph.
Scott Dixon qualified second for the 202-mile Kohler Grand Prix on today at 141.150 mph. Tony Kanaan starts third at the 4-plus mile road course.
Power, the 2014 series champion, won his 44th career pole. He’s coming off his first victory of the season on June 5 at Detroit.
The Team Penske driver also earned the 499th pole in all racing series in the 50-year history of the organization.
Season points leader Simon Pagenaud will start fourth.
The race marks IndyCar’s first stop at the 14-turn, rural Wisconsin track since 2007.