Edwards, Biffle put Roush Fenway on front row for Daytona 500

5:24 PM, Feb 19, 2012   |    comments
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Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Carl Edwards won Sunday's time trials for the Daytona 500 while his teammate, Greg Biffle, secured the outside pole to give Roush Fenway Racing and Ford the front starting row for the February 26 race at Daytona International Speedway.

Edwards benefited from weather conditions when he made his qualifying attempt early in the session. He was the fifth driver in the field of 49 to make his run. The winds at Daytona intensified during the session and therefore lowered speeds on the cars. Gusts reached as high as 40 m.p.h.

Edwards turned a lap at 194.738 m.p.h. around the high-banked 2.5-mile superspeedway for his first Daytona 500 pole. It was also his 11th career pole in the Sprint Cup Series.

The qualifying order for the Daytona 500 was determined in a random draw. Qualifying for all other Sprint Cup point races are determined by overall practice speeds for each event.

Biffle, the ninth driver in the qualifying order, posted a lap at 194.087 m.p.h.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the pole for last year's Daytona 500, finished third in time trials, followed by Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears.

Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, the defending Daytona 500 winner, and Tony Stewart, who is the reigning series champion, were sixth through 10th, respectively.

Danica Patrick, making her Sprint Cup debut at Daytona, was 30th fastest with a lap at 191.738 m.p.h. Patrick is already guaranteed a starting position in the 500-mile race based on last year's top-35 owner points.

While Edwards and Biffle have secured the front row for the Daytona 500, the remaining 43-car field for the 54th running of NASCAR's most prestigious race of the season will be determined in Thursday's Gatorade Duel twin 150-mile qualifying races.

Three drivers outside the top-35 in points -- Bayne, Tony Raines and David Stremme -- have also locked down a position in the Daytona 500 based on their qualifying speeds. Terry Labonte at least earned the champion's provisional spot.

The Sports Network

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