Edwards wins Daytona 500 pole

Biffle completes Roush sweep of Row 1

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She watched Saturday night’s exhibition Budweiser Shootout from the spotter stand, and is anxious to run in the qualifying race Thursday to get a feel for the pack racing. NASCAR made significant tweaks to the rules package during the offseason to break up the two-car tandem and return racing to the fan-preferred pack.

“I’m not completely unfamiliar with the pack,” she said.

Edwards, meanwhile, is eager to race and put 2011 behind him once and for all.

His loss to Stewart in the championship race was gut-wrenching, and despite holding his head high and demonstrating how to lose with dignity, he’s been unable to move forward because of the intense attention on his defeat.

“It seems like every media question and all anybody says is, `How great would it have been to have one more point and how did you deal with that this offseason?’ Edwards said. “I think this is nice to come here and show everyone that, hey, it isn’t just talk. Everybody at Roush Fenway went back and worked hard and kept their heads down and dug.

“This is very special. It’s not a driving accomplishment. This is a team accomplishment, this pole.”

It gave Roush his first sweep of the Daytona 500 front row, but marked the third time in 12 years Ford drivers have taken the top two spots. It also comes on the heels of Ford’s victory last month in the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona sports car race.

“What a way to start the season,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “Our Fords are fast.”

Edwards won his pole without crew chief Bob Osborne, who missed the weekend events at Daytona after the death of his father. Chip Bolin filled in for Osborne, and helped Edwards to his first career pole at Daytona.

“We felt like this was the best crop of superspeedway cars we had brought to the race track in a long time,” Bolin said. “Our entire organization was really confident. Bob has built this program on steady, calculated moves and we just tried to execute the plan that he expected us to do here and here we are.”

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