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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)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 FVP/Menards Chevrolet SS finishes in fourth place and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS finishes in fourteenth place Sunday, March 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Larson is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 20, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Joining him on the front row will be Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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