Carl Edwards wins pole at Tennessee NASCAR

Carl Edwards won his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup pole on Friday, helping Joe Gibbs Racing take four of the top five spots in qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

Edwards, the winner at Bristol in March 2014, earned his third pole at the track and second consecutive No.1 spot after also topping qualifying last week at Texas.

That could bode well for Edwards, whose previous two Bristol poles yielded a second in 2011 and one of his three wins in 2008.

“This one’s really special because Bristol is tough,” Edwards said. “I feel really good about chances in the race because of the race trim we ran.”

Next was teammate and defending race winner Matt Kenseth, with Joey Logano third in a Ford. That duo each has two wins over the past five Bristol races.

Denny Hamlin will start fourth and Kyle Busch fifth in JGR Toyotas. Busch has swept the past two NASCAR weekends.

Edwards stood 10th after the first practice and was second to Logano after the first qualifying round. He fell a spot to third after the second round but turned it on in the final session for his 18th career pole.

“That’s pretty cool to run a less than 15-second lap,” Edwards said. “It’s a real testament to my guys and everybody on this team has been working so hard.

“You see it each week the JGR Toyotas are up front and these cars are really nice to drive. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and everybody did a really nice job.”

Martin Truex Jr qualified eighth to make it five Toyotas in the top 10. Trevor Bayne (10th) was the other Ford driver.

Jimmie Johnson (sixth), Kevin Harvick (seventh) and AJ Allmendinger (ninth) rounded out the top 10.

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