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Carl Edwards Wins Jeff Byrd 500 Pole; Goodyear Flying In Replacement Tires

The hottest team in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing stayed hot Friday, and their top driver led the way.

Carl Edwards won the Coors Light pole for Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500, edging out Roush-Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle to record his second pole of the season and his third in the last six races. In his previous five starts, he has three victories, one second place finish, and a crash after starting from the pole at Phoenix.

The rest of the top five were Regan Smith, who recorded his best-career qualifying effort, Paul Menard, and Unadilla's David Ragan, the third Roush-Fenway driver. Matt Kenseth, who won the pole two weeks ago in Las Vegas, was 11th in his Roush-Fenway Ford.

It is Roush-Fenway's third straight pole position and their 10th at Bristol, while it is Edwards' ninth-career pole.

Dawsonville's Bill Elliott recorded the 31st quickest time, fastest of the nine drivers attempting to qualify for the race on speed. He has yet to use one of his six past-champion provisionals and is currently in the top-35 in 2011 owner points, which go into effect after next week's race in Fontana, California.

The rest of the go-or-go homers who made the event, in order of position, were Landon Cassill, Joe Nemechek, Dave Blaney, J.J. Yeley, Michael McDowell, Dennis Setzer, and Casey Mears.

Ken Schrader, the beloved NASCAR veteran, was the only driver to fail to qualify.

The entire field will be practice on different right-side tires tomorrow. After very poor tire wear in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup practice sessions, Goodyear is flying tires that match the specifications run at Birstol last year. There were no tire-related accidents in Sprint Cup practice, but Denny Hamlin revealed that he could only run about 30 laps on his right-side tires, nearly 100 laps fewer than cars can run on fuel.

Two drivers, Elliott Sadler and Kevin Lepage, crashed in Nationwide practice after tire failures.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.