If qualifying is any indication, Carl Edwards could be less than 24 hours from his first Sprint Cup championship.
The Roush-Fenway Racing driver won the pole for Sunday's Ford 400, his series-leading fourth pole of the 2011 Sprint Cup Season. Edwards will share the front row with Martin Truex Jr., followed by Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski. The top-10 is rounded out by Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin.
Tony Stewart, who enters Sunday's race three points behind Edwards, timed in only 15th, giving Edwards a large advantage at least at the start of the event in terms of track position. With his pole, Edwards will also have the first pit stall at the end of pit road. That is an advantage that will persist throughout the race.
While all eyes were on Edwards and Stewart, Johnson likewise made headlines by failing to record a pole this year. It is the first season since 2001, when he ran just three races, that he has not won a pole.
The five drivers that failed to qualify for the Ford 400 were Scott Speed, Reed Sorenson, Mike Skinner, Scott Riggs, and Grant Enfinger.