Thursday, Aug 18

Carl Edwards has won his second straight Sprint All-Star Race pole award. Edwards, the winner of 2011 All-Star Race, was able to outclass the rest of the 22-car field during the most abnormal qualifying session NASCAR has to offer.

The driver of the No. 99 Ford was able to pull off the top lap time at 110.268 seconds during a session in which drivers had to run a regular qualifying lap, then pit for four-tires, and go back onto the race track. Kyle Busch ran the second quickest pace, but that was .85 seconds off of Edwards’ blistering pace. In 18 regular-season races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Edwards has an average finish of 11.8, but has three top-five finishes in eight career All-Star Races.

Multiple cars experienced mechanical issues during the qualifying session due to the roaring speeds entering pit road. Tony Stewart had an extensive amount of smoke coming out of his No. 14 Chevrolet. The team immediately went to work in the garage as his team Tweeted they will be changing the transmission, rear end gear, driveshaft and axle prior to Saturday evening’s All-Star Race. Ryan Newman also had problems during the qualifying session after having trouble on pit road.

Several drivers missed their pit box while entering pit road. Approximately half of the field had trouble getting into their pit stall, or they had slow stops due to NASCAR’s policy where crew members could not climb over the wall until the car had fully stopped.  

Each of the Hendrick Motorsports cars qualified fourth through seventh, and ran solid lap times along with having respectable pit stops. Kevin Harvick will start third in his No. 4 Chevrolet. Sprint Showdown winner, Clint Bowyer, will start ninth in his No. 15 Toyota while A.J. Allmendinger qualified 17th. Sprint Fan Vote winner, Josh Wise, qualified 19th in his No. 98 car for Phil Parsons Racing. 

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