“Qualifying was actually pretty exciting for all the teams,” Edwards said. “We looked at this forecast and we were all concerned that it wasn’t going to be single car qualifying. I don’t know if you guys noticed, but it was like a heat race out there. Everybody was doing what they can to lag back and team up to get the fastest car they could. It is pretty cool that we have the fastest lap with one minute to go. That was real exciting. That was our mission yesterday and I am pretty proud that we ended up with the fastest lap.”
Martin Truex Jr. will start second on the pole with a lap time of 47.964, which is 199.650 miles per hour.
“We had a good plan in practice yesterday (Friday),” Truex Jr. said. “Our car felt really good. Obviously, Gen-6 car’s first time at Talladega. A lot of guys are trying to figure it out. We expected it to be similar to Daytona, but it actually feels quite a bit different which is interesting. “We really don’t know what to expect for tomorrow yet. The practicing is never quite like it is in the race. You get in different positions and guys tend to be more aggressive in the race somewhat. When you get all 43 cars out there in a pack it changes quite a bit so excited about the race tomorrow.”
Marcos Ambrose will start third in today’s Aaron’s 499. Ambrose knew that getting a good run when the pack was on the track was going to be key to get good position in the pole.
“From our perspective was just knew that getting a lap time early when the pack was biggest was gonna be the way to go about practice,” Ambrose said. “We didn’t change the car any for that. We just tried to position ourselves, not at the very back of the line, but we tired to hang in the back until the pack started really moving.”
Joey Logano will start fourth, Ryan Newman will start fifth, Matt Kenseth will start sixth, Denny Hamlin will start seventh, and NASCAR points leader Jimmie Johnson will start eighth. Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne round out the top 10.
Talladega fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr, will start 12th.
Edwards believes their practice run won’t be anything like today’s race.
“We were four-wide in practice once,” Edwards said. “The cars seem to do a really good job of pulling up and actually passing other cars here. Our car was very fast. I don’t know if it’s just that our car is real fast or if everyone is like that, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty crazy race. It looked like it was a pretty wide-open practice session, so I think (Sunday) could be any type of race, but I can guarantee you the final couple of laps are going to be insane.”