The Sprint Cup cars qualify today at the Pocono Raceway, beginning at 11:10 a.m. with Scott Wimmer, who is driving Robby Gordon's Dodge this week. Television coverage of qualifying kicks in on SPEED at 11:30.
This week marks the first week of NASCAR's new qualifying policy, in which all cars qualify in order of their best practice lap from slowest to fastest. Previously, the "go-or-go-home" cars - those not inside the top-35 in owner points and thus not guaranteed a starting spot in the race - would qualify at the end of each session.
There are 44 cars attempting to qualify for Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500, which of course means one driver will fail to qualify. The drivers not locked into the event, in order of fastest practice speed, are as follows: Michael McDowell (27th in practice, No. 66 Toyota), Sam Hornish Jr. (31st, No. 38 Ford), J.J. Yeley (32nd, No. 46 Chevrolet), Joe Nemechek (34th, No. 87 Toyota), Scott Riggs (38th, No. 81 Chevrolet), Mike Skinner (39th, No. 60 Toyota), Andy Lally (40th, No. 71 Ford), Tony Raines (41st, No. 37 Ford), and T.J. Bell (43rd, No. 50 Toyota).
The "fast five" - the five fastest drivers in practice and as such the last five qualifiers - are Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford), Paul Menard (No. 27 Chevrolet), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet), Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevrolet), and Kurt Busch (No. 22 Dodge). Busch is in a backup car after crashing in final practice.
Defending 5-Hour Energy 500 champion Denny Hamlin - a four-time Pocono winner - was 10th-fastest and will qualify 35th. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, won the pole for last year's race and was 14th-fastest Friday.