Edwards awarded Talladega pole
Talladega, Ala. • Steady rain Saturday washed out qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway, where the field was set by practice speeds.
It put Carl Edwards on the pole for Sunday's race, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose.
They ran a spirited Friday first practice session because everyone had seen the weather radar and knew the laps might count if qualifying was cancelled.
"It was like a heat race out there," said Edwards. "Everybody was trying to get their fastest lap, and we got ours with like a minute to go. It was pretty exciting."
"We were all driving like idiots in that first practice knowing it was probably going to rain," he said.
Joey Logano will start fourth, followed by Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth.
Denny Hamlin will be seventh in his first race since missing four with a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne round out the top 10 in Sunday's starting lineup.
Hamlin is planning to start the race but get out of his car at some point and let Brian Vickers take over for him. The two practiced the driver exchange on Friday, with Hamlin getting out of the car through a roof hatch and Vickers coming in through a window.
Nationwide Series • Regan Smith won the crash-filled Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway when NASCAR said he was leading at the final caution flag Saturday night.
NASCAR decided Smith was leading Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne when Brian Vickers was spun hard into the outside wall and the caution came out. NASCAR Sprint Cyp Series: Aaron's 499
At Talladega, Calif., Sunday, 10:30 a.m. TV • Ch. 13