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Daytona 500 Qualifying: Carl Edwards Grabs Pole Position, Leads First Gatorade Duel As Well

Carl Edwards is starting 2012 as strong as he finished last season by grabbing the pole position for the upcoming Daytona 500 that kickstarts the NASCAR season. He will also be first up in this week’s first of two Gatorade Duels leading up to the race.

“Carl Edwards won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 194.738mph for his first Daytona 500 pole and 11th career pole and it is Roush Fenway Racing’s 80th pole,” reads the Jayski report. “Edwards is the 37th driver to win the Daytona 500 pole. #16-Biffle gets the outside pole and will start 2nd. Only Edwards and Biffle have secured their exact starting spot. #88-Earnhardt Jr was 3rd fastest followed by #9-Ambrose, #13-Mears, #24-Gordon, #56-Truex Jr., #6-Stenhouse Jr., #21-Bayne and #14-Stewart. Edwards will start from the pole in the first Gatorade Duel and Biffle will start 1st in the 2nd Gatorade Duel. #15-Bowyer has not passed the height sticks and his qualifying time disallowed.”

Bowyer and Edwards both represent the area, so local race fans will likely be rooting for either one. For Edwards, it’s a shot to start the season off on top and not give up the lead in 2012.