LOUDON, N.H. — Carl Edwards joked before Friday’s qualifying session that he’d like to steal some tips from Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff, and try to earn his own win at the track.

Edwards then turned the fastest lap and won the pole; Kenseth, with three wins at New Hampshire since ’13 including the last two races here, starts eighth. Edwards won the pole for the third time in the last four New Hampshire races, his sixth pole of the season, but has failed to end the race the same way he started – in first.

Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR champion, had a season more solid than spectacular with two wins but just four top-five finishes. He had 12 top-fives and five wins last season.

Martin Truex Jr. earned a spot in the next round of the Chase with a win in the playoff opener last week at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 16-driver Chase field will be cut to 12 after next week’s race at Dover International Speedway. Kenseth is seventh in the standings after one race and has the kind of resume that would suggest he can survive to the next round even without a victory over the next two races.

But last season’s stunning knockout of Jimmie Johnson at Dover is a reminder that win-and-in beats hoping for the best. Johnson entered Dover fifth in the standings and, with 10 career wins at Dover, seemed a lock to advance. His No. 48 Chevrolet was forced off the track for 36 laps with a torn rear axle seal and he was eliminated from contention.

Kenseth, with 38 career wins, knows time is of the essence for another title shot. Kenseth said he had no immediate plans to follow fellow 40-something NASCAR champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart into retirement.

“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it,” Kenseth said. “I realize there are more years of racing behind me then there are in front of me. But I feel great, I feel like we’re running good. I’m having a lot of fun. I don’t have any plans to quit in the near future.”

XFINITY SERIES: Elliott Sadler took the lead with four laps left and held off Daniel Suarez by 0.246 seconds to win the first race in the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase at Kentucky Speedway.

Sadler pushed his No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevy Camaro from 15th with 50 laps remaining for his third victory this season, clinching a spot in the eight-driver second round that begins at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 15.

Ryan Blaney was third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Matt Tifft.

Erik Jones was denied a series win at Kentucky for the second time this season despite leading the 300-mile event five times for 100 laps. His chance for victory was derailed with 13 laps remaining when his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota tangled with Ty Dillon’s No. 3 Chevy at the exit of Turn 4.

TRUCK SERIES: William Byron won the first Chase race in the Truck Series with a dominant performance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Byron, 18, won for the sixth time this season and advanced to the second round of the Chase.

Christopher Bell was second, followed by Matt Crafton, non-Chase driver Tyler Reddick and Timothy Peters.