Denny Hamlin won pole position for the Brickyard 400 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a lap of 49.244s (182.763mph) on the historic 2.5-mile circuit, and he was certainly feeling good with how things were looking heading into Sunday afternoon's race.
"If you put me out front on the last run, no one's going to get around me!" he said afterwards. "So it's all going to be about maintaining track position and maintaining the balance of your race car.
"All you can do is hope that you've got a fast enough car to be one of those two, where, if you do get set back, you can be one of the cars that can get back to the front," he added, already thinking ahead to race day strategy. "One thing about it is having the number one pit stall now. That's going to be an advantage on pit road," he added.
Carl Edwards was feeling pretty pleased with second place with a time 0.211s off Hamlin's pole run, and will be on the front row of the grid for the start of tomorrow's race. That's especially good given that this is his first track outing with new crew chief Chad Norris calling the shots after the decision by long-time colleague Bob Osborne to step down from the post on medical grounds.
"That was a really good lap for us, I am just proud of everyone for coming together and working together," said Edwards afterwards. "Chad Norris is as excited as anyone and all the guys on the team seem really upbeat and ready to move forward. I am real grateful for the timing of all this that we had the off weekend.
"I feel really good about it," added Edwards. "It has been great working with Chad. I think Bob is doing pretty well. He won't quite tell me exactly how he is doing. He keeps things pretty quiet. The biggest thing is we are all behind Bob 100-percent and hope he gets better and feels better."
Behind them on the second row of the grid, Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing tam mate Joey Logano will start form third place alongside Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola.
"I've blown up in practice here twice and had to start in the back, and I know it's really, really hard and it takes all day to get up there," recalled Logano of past years at the Brickyard. "Starting towards the front is going to be ... I think it's more important here than probably anywhere we go. It should help!"
"With this being my first time here, it's tough," said Almirola of his experience so far at Indy. "We only made one qualifying run toward the end of practice. We spent most of our time in race trim, just trying to get me some laps ... The most challenging thing is trying to get up to speed, trying to tell [crew chief] Mike Ford what I need to go faster."