"Five hundred miles, we'll see what happens," Edwards said after qualifying seventh Friday, when his teammates at Roush Fenway Racing claimed the top three spots. "You couldn't pick a better place to just race it out. This is gonna be a good one. I love this place."
Stewart will start fifth, in the row ahead of Edwards.
This race is being billed as a "Texas Title Fight" after Stewart got out of his car in Victory Lane at Martinsville last weekend and said Edwards "better be worried."
While some people thought Stewart might have just been caught up in his emotions with those immediate comments after his third victory in seven Chase races, he reiterated that sentiment Friday in a very calm, straightforward manner.
"No, I just stated a fact that we're ready for this," Stewart said. "We're ready for these three weeks. After a race like we had last Sunday, I'm ready to go for these weeks. If anybody counts us out they're making a mistake."
Stewart won the fall race at Texas five years ago, when Jimmie Johnson was on the way to winning the first of his unprecedented five consecutive championships. Stewart has 10 top-10 finishes in his 19 starts in the Lone Star State.
But no one has won more Cup races at Texas than Edwards, who has three wins at the 1½-mile, high-banked track. He was third at the track in April, and certainly isn't bothered by Stewart's verbal challenge.
"No, it's in good fun," Edwards said. "We get along real well and, for me, this week I've thought a little bit about who my real competition is and, no offense to Tony or anything, but I think the guys that are behind him are truly the guys who have the biggest chance of doing well over the next three weeks.
"It would be foolish of me to just focus on him and not pay attention to these other guys who have been very, very fast."
Greg Biffle took the pole with a lap of 193.736 mph. Biffle was the last to run a qualifying lap Friday and just beat out David Ragan (193.729. Matt Kenseth, who is fifth in points, will start his Ford on the second row with Paul Menard's Chevrolet.
Stewart had a lap of 193.257 mph, and Edwards was 193.071 after he scraped the wall when coming to the start-finish line.
"We wanted to be a little better than that, but I came to the green and I was a little loose," Edwards said. " I thought, 'I better be a little careful my next time through here,' and I was probably a little too timid down there. ... But it is a good starting spot. We focused hard on qualifying here. We had an opportunity to go out there and sit on the pole."
David Reutimman, who found out this week he was being replaced at Michael Waltrip Racing, qualified sixth between Stewart and Edwards. Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith rounded out the top 10, just ahead of Johnson.
Kevin Harvick, who is third in points, qualified 21st and fourth-place Brad Keselowski will start eighth Sunday.
Johnson is sixth in points, 43 points behind of Edwards and knowing he needs a lot of help for any chance to extend his championship streak.
"I don't see Tony or Carl having any bad tracks moving forward. ...I think we are going to have a shootout until the end," Johnson said. "If something does happen with either one of them obviously, it opens the door for a bunch of other guys, but I just don't see any big mistakes coming from those guys, but time will tell."
Johnson flew to Texas on the plane of team owner Rick Hendrick, who sustained four broken ribs and a broken shoulder in an accident Monday.
Hendrick was in the Gulfstream G150 plane co-owned by Johnson that usually transports the Cup champion and his family when it had brake issues upon landing in Key West, Fla. Hendrick, his wife and two pilots were on the plane at the time.
"Rick is not going anywhere right now, so his plane was available," said Johnson, who visited Hendrick and his wife in the hospital before he left for Texas. "They are doing well, their spirits are high, they are very thankful that things turned out the way that it did and that the runway had the extra distance and all that, it could have been bad."