News & Media

Biffle edges teammate Edwards for Kansas pole

October 07, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Greg Biffle edged teammate Carl Edwards for the top starting spot in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400, as Roush Fenway racing swept the front row for the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Biffle turned a lap at 174.887 mph (30.877 seconds) to claim his second pole award of the season and the eighth of his career. Edwards was a close second at 174.571 mph.

Third-place qualifier Kyle Busch (174.447 mph) crashed the Roush Fenway party, edging RFR driver Matt Kenseth (174.436 mph), who will start fourth. Kasey Kahne (174.413 mph) qualified fifth.

Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon will start from positions six through 10, respectively.

Biffle said his qualifying run was a case of making something out of nothing. At the start of Friday's first Cup practice session, Biffle thought a pole was out of the question.

"I unloaded off the truck, and I tried to make a lap, and I said, 'We're in big trouble,' " Biffle said. "We went from there to being the fastest car. It wasn't in one run. The next run we got a little but better. The next run -- not bad, but we need more. The next run I was a little frustrated, so we put tires on at that point, and I only ran a 49 (31.49 seconds).

"That put me up to about 17th or 15th or so. That hurts, because guys are running flats and teens. I knew we were still four tenths of a second off of being up there. At that point, I'm in defense mode -- if we get another 10th out of it, we can be in the top 10."

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Biffle's team, led by crew chief Matt Puccia, had other ideas.

"I never thought we'd be on the pole," Biffle said. "They went back and looked at the data and worked on it. And I've got to pat myself on the back a little bit. I must have drove a pretty good lap in order to get it up there, but they did a lot of work and really studied it, and that says a lot for the team, and that says a lot for Matt."

Chase co-leaders Edwards and Harvick start second and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers qualified as follows: Kyle Busch (third), Kenseth (fourth), Hamlin (seventh), Gordon (10th), Ryan Newman (11th), Brad Keselowski (12th), Kurt Busch (17th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (18th), Jimmie Johnson (19th), and Tony Stewart (23rd).

Austin Dillon, second fastest of the drivers required to make the field on speed, will start 26th in his Cup Series debut.


• Greg Biffle scores his eighth career pole in his 324th career start.
• Greg Biffle scores his second pole of 2011; he won the pole at Michigan in August.
• Greg Biffle scores his first pole at Kansas speedway in his 11th start at the track; his previous best start was fifth in this race last season.
• Greg Biffle is the ninth different driver to win a pole at Kansas in 12 races.
• Carl Edwards (second) scores his third top-five start in the past four races; he is the only driver with top-10 finishes in the first three Chase races.
• Kyle Busch (third) scores third-place starts for both Kansas races in 2011; Kansas is one of two tracks that Busch does not have a top-five finish at (Homestead is the other).
• Matt Kenseth (fourth) scores his first start better than 18th in the three races since his pole at Chicagoland; this is his fourth top-five start at Kansas in his 12th race at the track.
• Kasey Kahne (fifth) scores his third consecutive top-10 start of the season; he started in the top-10 for six of his nine Kansas starts.
• Four of the past five Kansas races were won from starting positions of seventh or better.

David Starr, Josh Wise and Mike Skinner failed to qualify for the 43-car field.