Carl Edwards will be on the pole for the NASCAR Brickyard 400, where passing could be at a premium today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Edwards turned a lap at 183.484 mph Saturday to move to the top starting spot. But he then had to see if two-time race winner and Indiana native Tony Stewart would bump him from the pole.
Stewart was fastest in the first round of qualifying and drew a rousing ovation from the hometown crowd. He was the last driver on the track in the second round of qualifying, and Edwards watched from pit road as Stewart circled the track. The three-time NASCAR champion had to get off the gas in the final turn and wound up fourth.
“Tony had me nervous,” said Edwards, who put his Toyota on the pole for the second consecutive week. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also won the pole last weekend at New Hampshire, where teammate Kyle Busch won for the third time in four races.
JGR last week had three drivers in the top seven, and had four of the top five at Kentucky two weeks ago.
Stewart is having the worst season of his career, and returned to his favorite race track with just one top-10 finish all season. He admitted last month that his confidence is shattered, but said finding speed Saturday gave him a boost.
“That’s exactly what I needed,” he said. “I’m excited about being in the top two rows right now. I’m definitely happier about that than being mid-pack right now.”
Joey Logano, who along with Brad Keselowski is trying to give Roger Penske his first NASCAR win at Indy, qualified second. He went 183.139 mph in his Ford.
David Ragan was third in a Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing and followed by Stewart and Kyle Larson in a pair of Chevrolets. Stewart teammate Kevin Harvick was sixth, followed by MWR’s Clint Bowyer.
Kyle Busch took advantage of Ryan Blaney’s last-lap bobble, making an inside pass on the back straightaway to win the Xfinity Series race Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch raced to his second Xfinity Series victory in three years at Indianapolis – both from the pole – and pushed his series-record victory total to 72. The margin of 0.421 seconds was the closest in the four Xfinity races held on the historic 2.5-mile oval.
Lewis Hamilton clinched the pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, where he will start at the front for the ninth time in 10 races this season, and 47th overall in his career.
Hamilton was .575 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and .719 clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who has 45 career poles. Michael Schumacher leads all-time with 68.
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