Friday, November 1, 2013

Carl Edwards steals the AAA 500 pole from Keselowski and Johnson

Carl Edwards gets his first Texas-style pole award
Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski could play spoilers in Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. For a while during Friday's qualifying session, it appeared that the top two in Sprint Cup points, Johnson and Kenseth, would start next to each other. But as qualifying progressed, Edwards bumped Brad Keselowski off the provisional pole after Keselowski bumped Jimmie Johnson off the provisional pole.

With three wins at TMS, Edwards hopes to add a pair of pistols and a Charlie 1 Horse hat to the long gun awarded for the pole, which was his first at Texas.

Edwards finished second to Tony Stewart in the November 2011 epic championship battle, and the Johnson-Keselowski fandango in which Keselowski finished second has been a topic of conversation all week.

With those two starting from the front row, the AAA 500 looks to be a barn-burner.

In his post-qualifying interview, Johnson revealed that he brushed the wall during his run, scraping the No. 48's bumper cover. Somewhat ironically, he was questioned about his set-to with Greg Biffle last week when Biffle was upset over Johnson's contact with the No. 16's bumper cover.

Paul Menard equals his best start at the Great American Speedway in fourth, while the points leader by virtue of wins, Matt Kenseth, begins from sixth.

Adding yet more pepper to the chili, Kyle Busch starts from fifth position. In theory that's far enough back from Keselowski, but with the history between those two, that's not a given.

Jeff Gordon, who lurks third in points, rolls off eighth, next to teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who in Nationwide competition never started out of the top ten at TMS, starts ninth and Marcos Ambrose rounds out the top ten.

In case you didn't follow the rambling lineup above, here's the complete starting lineup in order. Tune in Sunday at 2 p.m. Central to see if the Wild Asphalt Circus once again lives up to its billing.

1
Carl Edwards
2 Brad Keselowski
3 Jimmie Johnson
4 Paul Menard
5 Kyle Busch
6 Matt Kenseth
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8 Jeff Gordon
9 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10 Marcos Ambrose
11 Kasey Kahne
12 Joey Logano
13 Ryan Newman
14 Denny Hamlin
15 Martin Truex Jr.
16 Juan Pablo Montoya
17 Aric Almirola
18 Greg Biffle
19 Kevin Harvick
20 Jeff Burton
21 Austin Dillon
22 Bobby Labonte
23 Parker Kligerman
24 Jamie McMurray
25 Elliott Sadler
26 Clint Bowyer
27 Casey Mears
28 David Gilliland
29 David Ragan
30 Danica Patrick
31 Kurt Busch
32 Trevor Bayne
33 Mark Martin
34 Josh Wise
35 Michael McDowell
36 Kyle Larson
37 Landon Cassill
38 Travis Kvapil
39 David Reutimann
40 Timmy Hill
41 Joe Nemechek
42 Dave Blaney
43 J.J. Yeley

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