Talladega Qualifying Washed Out
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin on May 4, 2013 | 1:02 P.M. EST
Carl Edwards will start from the pole in Sunday's Aaron's 499. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Rain washed out Saturday’s Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Talladega Superspeedway.
NASCAR officials were forced to cancel the day’s scheduled session as a soaking rain hit the track this morning and continued through mid-day.
Per the NASCAR rule book, Sunday’s race will be set by Friday’s first practice putting Carl Edwards on the pole.
Edwards posted his fast lap (199.675 mph) in the session on his 30th and final lap.
"I was actually pretty exciting for all the teams yesterday because we looked at this forecast and we were all concerned that there wasn’t gonna be single car qualifying," Edwards said. "I don’t know if you guys noticed, but it was like a heat race out there. Everyone was doing everything they could to lag back and partner up and get the fastest lap times they could and it was pretty exciting. We got the fastest lap with about one minute to go and it was really exciting, so that was our whole mission yesterday and I’m pretty proud of the fact that we ended up with the fastest time."
Martin Truex Jr, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman will start second through fifth, respectively, after each posted their fast time on lap 4 in the practice.
"We were all driving like idiots out there in that first practice knowing it was probably gonna rain today and we just sort of had to get a run and try to make something happen," Ambrose said. "I had the 56 behind me in Martin and we had a good run after about two laps and we made the most of it, so it’s good to be starting in the front. You always eliminate a lot of accidents if you can stay at the front like that, so our plan tomorrow is to drive aggressive all day and try to stay up there."
Sunday's race will mark the first for the Gen-6 racecar at Talladega and second on a restrictor-plate track following the season-opening Daytona 500.
"The cars seemed to suck up and get runs a whole lot better -- even when we were towards the front of the pack so I think that’s a great thing for what we’ll see tomorrow in the race," Truex Jr. said. "We’ve seen quite a bit of single file racing at Daytona and I don’t expect the race here tomorrow to be quite that way so I think that will be a good thing for the fans and it should put on a great show. It seemed like guys were really able to get a lot of runs and make a lot of stuff happen yesterday in practice so it should be a lot of fun."
Denny Hamlin, who will return to the FedEx Toyota after missing four races with a back injury, starts seventh. Hamlin plans to run at least until the race’s first caution before handing over the driving duties to Brian Vickers.
Elliott Sadler was the only driver that will miss the race. He was planning on making his second Cup start of the season in the No. 81 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will air live coverage of Sunday's Aaron's 499 from Talladega Superspeedway starting at 12 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.