By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Fort Worth, TEXAS — On a day where Elliott Sadler announced his plans for the 2011 season to drive for Kevin Harvick Incorporated in the Nationwide Series, he put down a monsterous lap to take his eighth career Sprint Cup Series pole. Sadler summed up the day perfectly in the media center after his run.
“It’s been a great day to be a Elliott Sadler kind of guy,” Sadler boasted.
Sadler’s lap was in excess of 195 mph at 27.636 seconds. He would go on to continually thank his crew chief Todd Parrott for his hard work and his race team for not giving up in the uncertain times. Second-place Greg Biffle bobbled on his fast lap, and came home 0.248 of a second slower than the pole run.
Biffle’s teammate Carl Edwards qualified third followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and David Ragan.
Continuing a trend from earlier in practice Montoya was the only driver inside the top-five who doesn’t have a Roush-Fenway motor.
Regan Smith put together an impressive qualifying run with the eighth best time. Smith said that he noticed a change in his team earlier in the year.
“I think right around Indy time it started turning around for us and we started really picking things up,” Smith said. “Happy with the car and proud of my guys. We have a fast car and hopefully we’ll be good on Sunday.”
The point leader Jimmie Johnson will roll off Sunday from the 17th position, which of course would put him in an uncomfortable spot… deep in the pack. Remember last year in this exact race Johnson was swept up in an incident early after starting 12th.
For Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick who are also chasing the championship the news is even worse. Harvick will start back in 26th, while Hamlin will start in another zip code from the 30th position.
Hamlin did predict his horrid qualifying run earlier in the day during his media availability.
“We’re struggling for a little bit of speed right now. I’m not too alarmed at this point. We felt like we ran pretty good in race trim,” Hamlin said.
49 cars attempted to make the 43 car field, so six cars had to go home. Those drivers were: J.J. Yeley, Scott Riggs, Michael McDowell, Jeff Green, Josh Wise and Brian Keselowski.
For the pole sitter Elliott Sadler all that is left to make his day complete is a victory in tonight’s truck series race.