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Edwards and Biffle claim Daytona front row

Roush Fenway Racing locked out the front row for next Sunday's running of the Daytona 500, with Carl Edwards on pole by 0.155s from team mate Greg Biffle.
Carl Edwards will start next Sunday's Daytona 500 from pole position, and his Roush Fenway Racing team mate Greg Biffle will start alongside him on the front row, after they set the fastest times in the weekend's qualifying session at Daytona International Speedway.

"I didn't really consider the pole as something that was a possibility, so this is huge," said a delighted Edwards, who achieved a time of 46.216s (194.738mph) on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. "It's neat to come down here and to be so fast and to really have fun qualifying here."

"We're so excited to have two of our cars on the front row," agreed Biffle, who had been favourite for a strong qualifying after topping both the practice sessions on Saturday but missed out on pole to his team mate by 0.155s. "A team effort all around."

It's the first time that Edwards will start the Daytona 500 from pole, and the first time that team owner Jack Roush has locked out the front row of the grid for the Great American Race. However, there's a note of caution from history: the last time the polesitter went on to win the race was back in 2000, when Dale Jarrett managed it.

Under Speedweeks' uniquely convoluted qualifying process, the remaining positions for the starting grid of the race are yet to be finalised. Today's qualifying session only set the front row, and the rest of the Daytona 500 grid will in fact be set by the results of Thursday evening's Gatorade Duel races.

However, today's qualifying did also decide the first four cars guaranteed a place on the starting grid that were not already locked in by 2011 car owner points. Trevor Bayne was the highest-placed non-guaranteed driver with the ninth fastest time of the day of 46.484s (193.615mph) and will now definitely make the start of the Daytona 500.

"This Wood Brothers team worked so hard this off-season to find us some speed and it showed today," said last year's shock race winner, who turned 21 today. "To be able to know today we're in the race is a load off everyone's mind and now we can concentrate on getting our car race ready for next Sunday."

Tony Raines and David Stremme are also locked in, as is Terry Labonte thanks to a champion's provisional.

"I can't tell you how huge this is for us to get into the 500," said Stremme, running for the small-scale Inception Motorsports team at Daytona. "We have like eight full-time crew members!"

But Kenny Wallace, Dave Blaney, Michael Waltrip, Joe Nenechek, Bill Elliott, Mike Wallace, Robert Richardson Jr., Robby Gordon and JJ Yeley will still have to win places in the Daytona 500 depending on their performances in Thursday's Gatorade Duel races.




Related Pictures

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Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Byane turned 21 earlier in the day. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Pole position winner Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, poses with his Roush Fenway Racing team mate and 2nd position starter Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford on pit road at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, poses after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet, poses for a photo after winning the Coors Light Pole Award during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS SS, qualifies for second position Friday, March 18, 2016 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick will be joined on the front row by pole setter Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, with team owner and grandfather Richard Childress after capturing the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, beats Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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