CONCORD, N.C. -- Carl Edwards captured the pole for the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, paying tribute to the late Dick Trickle along the way.
Edwards, the 2011 winner in the exhibition event, completed three laps and a four-tire pit stop Friday night in 1 minute, 51.297 seconds.
Kurt Busch will start alongside Edwards on the front row Saturday night. Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Joe Logano round out the top five.
Edwards had Trickle’s name written just above his window, a tribute to the 71-year-old former NASCAR driver who died Thursday of what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Boger City, N.C.
Edwards said many of his crew members are from Wisconsin, where Trickle grew up and became a famous short-track driver.
For the first time since 2000, NASCAR waived the pit-road speed limit, allowing drivers to enter and leave the pits at high rates of speed.
"This was awesome," Edwards said. "I vote that we do this at every race track."
Not all agreed.
Judging the speed needed to stop in the pit stall threw off some drivers.
Defending All-Star race champion Jimmie Johnson was among a handful of drivers who skidded past his pit stop when his breaks locked up. He was forced to back up, losing valuable time.
Kevin Harvick’s pit stop was even worse.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in second place after 16 cars but a loose lug nut cost him a 5-second penalty and dropped him out of the top 10.
Saturday night’s All-Star race encompasses 90 laps, including four 20-lap segments leading up to a final 10-lap shootout for $1 million.
NASCAR has installed new rules to discourage drivers from sandbagging.