Carl Edwards will lead the pack to the green flag at today's Daytona 500 in his #99 Ford, making his car the first Ford to take the pole for the Great American Race in five years. Chevy has dominated the qualifying in recent seasons, but the Fords came back with a vengeance sweeping the front row and setting the fastest pole time since 1999. Jack Rousch
"It's great for Ford Motor Company," said Jack ROusch, who owns the #1 & #2 qualifying cars. "Ford has been behind my racing and been a great partner for more than 40 years now. Some days, many days, they don't get what they deserve, but today we've rejoiced in the success. I'll be happy to get the phone calls early in the week from people as they go back to work and read the newspapers and figure out what happened. Hopefully they can sell some more Fords on Monday, as well."
Carl Edwards says that it's a special accomplishment to start on the pole at Daytona.
"This is very special. It's not a driving accomplishment. This is a team accomplishment, this pole. As a driver, any one of the drivers out there that would have gone out at the time I had gone out, would have been driving that 99 car, the Fastenal Fusion, this he would have run the same lap time I did.
This pole and these qualifying sessions at these restrictor plate racetracks, it shows you what the guys are doing at the shop, it shows you the engine capabilities, the engineering, the decisions by guys like Chip and Bob. So this is about the team. Today there's a lot of pride in this for everyone. Just like Jack said. I'm excited to have all the guys back at the shop this week know they sent the best racecars down to Daytona."
He also said that after the the way last season ended, it feels good to start 2012 on a high note.
"It feels really nice. This is our second pole in a row. Feels nice to pick up right where we left off. I've been telling everybody, it seems like every media question, How great would it have been to have one more point? How did you deal with that this off‑season?
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 for, just like Chip said, the best racecars we've had in a long time. I thank Jack, Chip, Bob, Robbie Reiser, Doug Yates, everybody who has built these racecars, for not letting the disappointment of not winning that championship, not letting that slow us down, but instead giving us real motivation."
Coverage of the 2012 Daytona 500 starts today at noon on Fox.