News & Media

Edwards gambles on inclement weather for qualifying

June 10, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

LONG POND, Pa. -- You can ruin Carl Edwards' day with a weather forecast that would delight most race fans -- hot and sunny.

That's the last thing Edwards wants to see Saturday, with Sprint Cup qualifying for Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono scheduled to start at 11:10 a.m. ET.


Edwards led Friday's first practice session with a lap 167.729 mph. As the fastest in first practice, Edwards will be last to qualify on Saturday -- if qualifying actually takes place.

The series points leader is taking a calculated risk. A cloudy day, or a qualifying rainout, will benefit him. An overcast sky would diminish the change in track temperature that ordinarily would make the last qualifying position the least advantageous.

A rainout would put Edwards on the pole, with the field ordered by practice speeds.

"We gambled and went out and set the fastest lap we could," Edwards said. "There are a lot of different strategies being played out behind the scenes that may not be obvious. If it rains, we'll look great. It would be wonderful to start on the pole, but we'll just see what happens.

"We'll do some cloud seeding or something. This is the game now. You have to set yourself up based on when qualifying happens, what you think the cloud cover will be. You try to run your practice to put yourself in the front or back of the order, if you can."