February 18, 2013 11:03 AM

Edwards Starts Ninth in Budweiser Duel No.1

Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2013) – Missouri native Carl Edwards had the 17th -overall fastest time at yesterday’s qualifying session, posting a 46.097 second (195.24 mph) lap on the 2.5-mile track. Edwards’ qualifying time lines up his No. 99 Fastenal Ford in the ninth-place starting position for the first Duel on Thursday.

After a 12th place finish in Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited, the No. 99 Blue Team will go to work for necessary adjustments on the Gen-6 car in preparation for next Sunday’s 500.

“Last year it was really important, qualifying was,” said Edwards.  “It was huge because we were on the pole. I don’t think qualifying is that important this year. The cars are different and some other variables. It isn’t the variable causing us to be 17th, just some other things are different. I think it will be really important how the cars race.”

Danica Patrick won the Coors Light Pole Award pole, marking the first female to win a pole in the Sprint Cup Series while Jeff Gordon will sit on the outside pole. The Duels on Thursday, February 21st will determine the remainder of the field for the 500.

“Everybody kind of jokes about that it is easy and there is nothing to it but it really is such a cool pole position to win. It was so neat last year and we had the pictures with the Fords’ up there in victory lane and Greg Biffle was mad because he wanted the pole and we all felt like we had a shot at it.”

Coverage of the Duels begins Thursday, February 21st at 2 p.m. EST on FOX.  You can catch the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 24th on FOX with coverage beginning at 1pm.

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