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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)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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German Quiroga, driver of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 5, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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