Chevrolet has a 12-win streak going at Indianapolis
JGR driver claims back-to-back poles at Loudon, Indy RELATED: Full Indy lineup INDIANAPOLIS -- If Toyota and Ford are to break the Chevrolet stranglehold on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the two manufacturers took a positive step in that direction during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials on Saturday. Underscoring the recent resurgence of Joe Gibbs Racing , Carl Edwards toured the 2.5-mile track in 49.056 seconds (183.464 mph) to put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), edging Joey Logano 's Team Penske Ford (183.139 mph) by .087 seconds. David Ragan (182.886 mph) qualified third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Fourth-place qualifier Tony Stewart (182.823 mph) had the fastest Chevrolet in the final round. Chevrolets have won the last 12 Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis. Stewart, though, had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12. The Coors Light Pole Award was Edwards' first at the Brickyard, his second of the season, his second in a row and the 15th of his career. "After yesterday, this is amazing," Edwards said. "We started so slow yesterday and we struggled. I think at one point (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and I were looking at each other going, 'What are we going to do here?' "It was a struggle, and everybody buckled down, worked hard -- I'm so proud of my guys. TRD and Toyota have been putting so much effort into this whole program. Stanley has been behind us 100 percent -- not just me, but Matt Kenseth and our whole team. This is big. It will be neat to start up front." Kyle Busch , Edwards' JGR teammate, will start ninth on Sunday in search of his third consecutive victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Sidelined for the first 11 events of the season by injuries sustained in an accident at Daytona in February, Busch has won three of the last four races and has seven races left in which to regain eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by finishing the regular season in the top 30 in the series standings. Entering Sunday's race, Busch is 33rd in points, 58 behind David Gilliland in 30th place. Behind Stewart, Kyle Larson , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will line up fifth through eighth on the grid. After qualifying, Logano and Ragan were quick to point out an unusual coincidence. Edwards , Logano and Ragan started 1-2-3, in that order, a week before at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a one-mile flat track. The Sprint Cup cars are running a completely different high-drag aerodynamic package this week, with a nine-inch-tall rear spoiler and a one-inch wicker. Last week at Loudon, the cars featured the regular 2015 rules package with a six-inch spoiler. "David and I were just laughing up here that these are the same three race cars that started up front at Loudon," Logano said. "A completely different race track, different package and the same cars are fast. It's good for us. We're close. Second always hurts, but it's nice to be up toward the front, especially here." Jeff Gordon 's final run at Indianapolis as a full-time driver didn't start the way the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would have hoped. "I really think our 3M Chevrolet is really good," said Gordon, who qualified 19th. "It's been good all weekend. I feel like I underestimated the grip. I had a little wiggle out of three coming to the green and that concerned me slightly. The grip was there in Turn 4, and I was aggressive into Turn 1, but not aggressive enough. "That's what's disappointing; it wasn't a balance issue or a speed issue. I didn't get enough speed through (Turn) 1. It adds up with this new package. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed to start back there." Notes: Josh Wise , Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field. ... Ryan Newman ’s time was disallowed because he ran his lap without the mandatory right-side window in his car. Newman will start 43rd on Sunday on a provisional.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver scores first pole since 2013 RELATED: Full starting lineup for New Hampshire " See how every car looks LOUDON, N.H. -- As Carl Edwards put it, "things just feel right." That was Edwards' take on the state of affairs at Joe Gibbs Racing , after he put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). "Right now it just feels right," said Edwards , who toured the Magic Mile in 28.179 seconds (135.164 mph) in Friday's qualifying session to earn his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at New Hampshire and the 14th of his career. "It's just cool, man. My expectation is to do the best we can (on Sunday). My hope is that we win this thing. ... We've been working very hard to bring this team together to be the best that we can be. It just feels right. This is cool. It's a lot of fun." With JGR teammate Kyle Busch winning last Saturday’s event at Kentucky, the organization placed all its drivers in the top five, with Denny Hamlin , Edwards and Matt Kenseth trailing second-place Joey Logano of Team Penske . Coincidentally, Logano (135.021 mph) qualified second to Edwards on Friday, with Michael Waltrip Racing 's David Ragan third (also at 135.021 mph) and Busch (134.025 mph) and Hamlin (134.601 mph) fourth and fifth, respectively. Edwards , who improved dramatically on his previous average starting position of 14.9 at New Hampshire, didn’t believe initially that he had won the pole until he got reassurance from crew chief Darian Grubb. On the other hand, Logano wasn't particularly thrilled to run second to a Gibbs driver for the second time in six days. "Second -- it seems like the story of our week, coming off Kentucky with a strong second-place run and then qualifying second here as well," Logano said. "Not that I'm complaining about it, but it's not much fun finishing second, being so close to getting trophies and pole flags and all the fun stuff. "There's not really much fun that happens when you finish second, but we're close. We've got speed in our race car once again." Danica Patrick advanced to the second round of knockout qualifying and will start 20th, one spot behind Dale Earnhardt Jr . Jeff Gordon , still seeking his first victory in his last season of full-time Sprint Cup racing, will start 23rd. "Yeah, it's not been a good day for us with the No. 24 car," Gordon acknowledged. "We've been struggling getting the car to do what we need it to do. Just real tight through the center, need to get it to rotate, need some front grip, so we will go to work on it (Saturday in practice). "It's disappointing that we didn't qualify better. We typically qualify well here and perform well here. We'll put this day behind us and go work on it tomorrow and get it ready for Sunday." Reed Sorenson , this week's driver in the Premium Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet, failed to qualify for the 43-car field for the fifth time this season. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Coors Light Pole winner pours it on; trouble for Newman, Gordon, Bowyer RELATED: Practice 2 results " Final practice results Carl Edwards backed up his show of speed in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, logging the fastest lap Saturday afternoon as final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice was cut short by rain at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Edwards drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota to a best lap of 133.110 mph in overcast conditions on the 1.058-mile track. Edwards will start first in Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) after claiming his first pole since 2013 in Friday's qualifying. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , fastest in Saturday's early practice, was second-best in the late session, turning a lap of 132.397 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was third-fastest at 132.213 mph in the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford, which is making its first start since Michigan in June after qualifying rainouts sidelined the team the last two weekends. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by Kyle Busch (fourth-fastest) and Denny Hamlin (fifth) completed the top five in the session, shortened from 55 to 43 minutes because of rain. The Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet of four-time series champ Jeff Gordon returned to the track with right-rear fender damage repaired from a collision in the garage with the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 of Clint Bowyer during Saturday morning's second practice. Gordon ran 35 laps in final practice, notching the 22nd-fastest lap. Bowyer was sixth-best on the speed chart. Harvick soars in Saturday's early practice Defending series champion Kevin Harvick landed atop the leaderboard in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second practice Saturday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick, driving the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet, clocked a best lap of 132.094 mph on the 1.058-mile track. Harvick, a two-time winner this year and the current standings leader, scored his only New Hampshire victory from the pole position in the fall of 2006. Jimmie Johnson was second-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet at 131.975 mph in preparation for Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). Carl Edwards , who won the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday's qualifying, was third-fastest, just ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch , last week's winner at Kentucky Speedway. Kurt Busch , a teammate to Harvick at Stewart-Haas, completed the top five. The practice session, originally scheduled for 55 minutes, was extended to one hour because of the stalled No. 31 Chevrolet of Ryan Newman , who stopped his Richard Childress Racing entry on the backstretch with a flat left-rear tire. With the session halted, Newman's crew came to his aid and changed the tire on the track apron to avoid further damage. A near-identical situation occurred Friday involving the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet and driver Martin Truex Jr . The session was also marked by a collision in the garage between former New Hampshire winners Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer , who was unable to avoid the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet as it backed out of its pit stall. Bowyer was able to return to practice with minor front-end scrape to his Michael Waltrip Racing No. 15 Toyota, but Gordon's crew was faced with more significant damage on the right-rear fender. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up quickly before the Brickyard 400, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra) RELATED: See the paint schemes for all 43 cars What : Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard Where : Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile oval in Speedway, Ind. When : Sunday, July 26; 3:30 pm ET. TV/Radio : NBCSN, IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Distance : 400 miles, 160 laps. Pit road speed : 55 mph Caution car speed : 70 mph Fuel window : 33 laps On the front row " See full starting lineup The Indianapolis front row should look very familiar to NASCAR fans as pole-winner Carl Edwards and outside polesitter Joey Logano started in the same positions last week at New Hampshire. Edwards' pole-winning speed of 183.464 mph in the No. 19 Toyota earned the Joe Gibbs Racing driver his first front row start at the iconic Indy track and it is the first NASCAR pole position for Toyota at Indy. Logano's second place qualifying effort will mean his eighth front row start in 19 races. He has four poles. Fastest in practice First practice: Denny Hamlin , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (182.208 mph) " Full practice results Second practice: Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet (181.466 mph) " Full practice results Final practice: Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet (181.987 mph) " Full practice results Last year's winner : The event's inaugural winner Jeff Gordon won his record fifth Brickyard 400 last July, tying him with Formula One's Michael Schumacher for the most victories at the famous speedway. After passing Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne on a late restart Gordon pulled away to a hefty 2.3-second win over JGR teammates Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth . It marked Gordon's 90th career Cup win. On the line : Seven races remain to set the 16-car Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, and you have to go back six races to Truex's June 7 win at Pocono to find the last driver to automatically punch his winning ticket into the Chase. Kyle Busch has won three of the last four races, but still sits 58 points out of 30th place -- the cutoff points position to qualify for the Chase. The recent schedule has been dominated by repeat winners while preseason favorites such as Clint Bowyer , three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart , Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMuray and Kyle Larson and Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne are among the A-list names still looking for a victory. Home cooking : Just listening to the cheers from the crowd, there's no doubt that Indianapolis loves its homegrown drivers. That was apparent with every qualifying attempt on Saturday and will be evident in Sunday's race. Of course it's easy to cheer for your own when that includes four-time Cup champion Gordon, of Pittsboro, Indiana, three-time champion Tony Stewart from nearby, Columbus, Indiana, and former Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman , of South Bend, Indiana. And the three account for eight Brickyard 400 wins (Gordon, 5; Stewart 2, Newman 1). "That's huge, when you come home, that's what you want,'' Stewart said of the reception he received after posting the fastest lap in the first round of Saturday's qualifying. Gordon was equally appreciative. "It's amazing and I love that,'' said the retiring Gordon, whose hometown Pittsboro honored him with a parade Thursday afternoon on a day the governor declared " Jeff Gordon Day." "When I'm in the car I'm focused on doing my job, but when I'm out of it, I feel the support here and not just this weekend, it's over the years." New package : The loudest buzz in the garage centered on NASCAR's new aerodynamic package being used Sunday at Indianapolis (and again at Michigan next month). Cars have been outfitted with a 9-inch spoiler that sits three inches higher than used at the 1.5-mile tracks and 6-inches taller than used at the 1-mile New Hampshire oval last week. The hope is the higher drag created by the spoiler will increase passing on the 2.5-mile speedway. A different variation to the cars -- a lower downforce package -- used at Kentucky two weeks ago produced a track record 22 green-flag passes for the lead. After three practice sessions Friday, the verdict was still unclear on what to expect Sunday. "I'm extremely happy with NASCAR’s ability to make some changes and really experiment and try new things,'' said Gordon, who qualified 19th for his final Brickyard start. "But, it's going to be really crazy out there. So, I don’t know for sure. For the little bit of time I spent behind other cars, it was a handful through the corners. So, restarts are going to be wild and crazy; so everybody needs to stay tuned-in." RELATED: See what the new spoiler looks like Nuts and Bolts Kyle Busch has eight top-10 finishes at Indianapolis -- including runner-up finishes two of the last three years -- despite having only one top-10 start at the track. ... Toyota has won its first pole for the Brickyard 400 but Chevrolet holds a 12-year winning streak in the race -- the longest current streak for a manufacturer. ... Amazingly 17 of 21 Brickyard 400 races have been won by Sprint Cup Series champions including, Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson , Kevin Harvick , Bobby Labonte and Stewart. They said it "Well, I mean it could go and be a natural disaster tomorrow. It could all be for nothing. It's the way you want to start the weekend for sure is to have two good runs in qualifying and have a decent starting spot. That is definitely what we were looking for today." -- Tony Stewart , driver of No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy after his fourth-place qualifying effort. "Regardless of how this race turns out, as a group we've been working really good together and I'm hoping it continues to build. Kyle Busch coming back, although it is making us look a little bad the last few weeks, I think it's been really good. He's hauling the mail, going really fast and doing a good job. We're going to keep building on that. It's neat to be competitive within your own group in a productive way." -- Carl Edwards , driver of the No. 19 Stanley Tools Toyota, after earning himself and the car manufacturer its first NASCAR pole position at Indianapolis. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Miss Coors Light, Amanda Mertz, catches up with Carl Edwards after he secures his second pole in as many weeks and his first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kyle Larson gets loose in front of Carl Edwards leading to another big wreck at Daytona.
Carl Edwards , Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin talk about how much they enjoyed the new rules package and how, in their opinion, it improved the quality of racing in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Edwards the defending race winner at California road course RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings With fewer than 30 laps left in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, Carl Edwards and David Ragan made contact that left both cars with significant damage and ruined their days at Sonoma Raceway. Edwards , the defending race winner, got loose coming into Turn 8 and his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota got into Ragan's No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, sending both cars into the wall. Ragan would finish 39th and Edwards was behind him in 40th place. "We're just racing, and David and I race really well together, but it was just one of those deals where we came off of Turn 7 dead-even, and both of us wanted to see who would give first," Edwards said. "My left-rear hit his right-rear and it just … it was pretty small contact, but it bounced both cars sideways and ruined our day. Probably my fault. In fact, that part is my fault, but it's just frustrating because I love this race track and I was having fun. Just wanted to be out there racing and it's a tough one to have to sit out." Ragan was involved in an earlier incident when his contact with Martin Truex Jr . sent the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet into a tire barrier to bring out the second caution of the race. "It's tough," Ragan told reporters. "I mean obviously, I'm there, he's there, we're both racing hard. It's just a racing thing. I don't fault Carl . If his car would've given me some room, I would've been able to go. If I would've given Carl some room, I would've been able to take the spot or he would've been able to take the spot. That's just racing at Sonoma. It's tight back there and you've got to go -- 30-something laps to go, you don't have time to mess around." Edwards already has a win this year while Ragan is still looking for one to make his way into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . -- NASCAR.com's Zack Albert contributed to this report FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Carl Edwards gets first pick after winning pole in Saturday's qualifying The pit stall assignments are out for Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) with pole sitter Carl Edwards getting his pick of the spots on pit road for the second week in a row. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be serviced in the first pit stall leading into Turn 1. Second-place qualifier Joey Logano chose the second pit stall on the side closest to the exit of pit road heading into Turn 1. David Ragan (starting third), Tony Stewart (starting fourth) and Paul Menard 's (starting 11th) pit stalls all have openings in front of them. Ragan, in the No. 55 Toyota, has the pit stall even with the start-finish line at the Brickyard. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule