Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

Carl Edwards earns Sprint Cup pole at Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. — Carl Edwards edged AJ Allmendinger to earn the stop starting spot for today's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on the road course at Sonoma Raceway.

Edwards ran a lap at 95.777 mph around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile track in qualifying Saturday to put his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the top starting spot for the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

"Man this car is fast," 2014 Sonoma winner Edwards said.

AJ Allmendinger qualified second at 95.676 mph in a JTG Daugherty Chevrolet. Allmendinger sat on the pole last year and believed he had a shot at it again on Saturday.

"When I saw Carl's first lap, I was like, I don't care what kind of lap I run, I'm never going to catch that," Allmendinger said. "There's no pressure on me. He's won here before. We just have to go out and have a solid day."

Might Gordon's gig grow? Jeff Gordon is open to succeeding Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's new Live with Kelly co-host — so long as he can continue his job as a NASCAR analyst.

Gordon calls his final race of the season for Fox Sports today — NBC carries the second half of the season. The four-time Sprint Cup champion is in his first year in the booth, and insisted Saturday he'll be back next year for Fox's NASCAR coverage.

However, Gordon didn't quash recent speculation that ABC is interested in him joining Ripa. Gordon has served as guest co-host on the show nine times.

"I am flattered that my name has been associated with that," Gordon said. "I've always maintained a great friendship with the show, some of the producers and folks within the show. I had a great time co-hosting, and I certainly would welcome it."

Lupton debut: California native Dylan Lupton will make his series debut in the No. 93 BK Racing Toyota after qualifying 38th. The recent UNC Charlotte graduate, 22, has two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West wins at Sonoma.

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