Johnson breaks pole drought at windy Kentucky

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 30th June, 2012 - 10:25am

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Jimmie Johnson and a crew member from his #48 team

Jimmie Johnson and a crew member from his #48 team

Jimmie Johnson has scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole position in almost two years ahead of Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

The #48 Hendrick Chevrolet was the penultimate car to complete a lap in the session – knocking off previous fast-man Kyle Busch by just 0.07s.

Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr round out the top 10.

“It was a good lap — qualifying has not been our strong suit in the last couple of years,” said Johnson.

“I’m very happy to get this pole today. My Chevy’s bad fast, and I’m looking forward to going racing.

The qualifying session was halted for 17 minutes due to strong winds after the first 20 cars had run.

The subsequent cooler track temperatures allowed many of those completing their laps after the wind storm to set faster times than those who ran early.

Australian Marcos Ambrose was one to run late in the second part of the session – ending up as the second fastest of the Ford runners in 12th.

“That was an okay lap. It wasn’t awesome but we have been struggling a bit all day,” he said.

“We got a favour there with the weather change and we will have a decent starting spot for tomorrow night.

“That weather change definitely helped us, no doubt about that. We have had two poles in two weeks so we can’t be greedy but if we can get a top-15 spot we will be happy.”

See below for the full qualifying result

POS

DRIVER

MAKE

SPONSOR

SPEED

TIME

BEHIND

1 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s Dover White 181.818 29.700 Leader
2 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s Red, White & Blue 181.421 29.765 -0.065
3 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 181.147 29.810 -0.110
4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser Folds of Honor 180.367 29.939 -0.239
5 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Tornados 180.337 29.944 -0.244
6 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 180.228 29.962 -0.262
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew 180.222 29.963 -0.263
8 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 180.204 29.966 -0.266
9 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 180.036 29.994 -0.294
10 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 179.964 30.006 -0.306
11 Greg Biffle Ford American Red Cross 179.754 30.041 -0.341
12 Marcos Ambrose Ford Mac Tools 179.509 30.082 -0.382
13 Aric Almirola Ford Eckrich 179.337 30.111 -0.411
14 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 179.206 30.133 -0.433
15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Sylvania 179.075 30.155 -0.455
16 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 179.045 30.160 -0.460
17 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald’s 178.992 30.169 -0.469
18 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 178.867 30.190 -0.490
19 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Quaker State 178.737 30.212 -0.512
20 Matt Kenseth Ford Fifth Third Bank 178.230 30.298 -0.598
21 Casey Mears Ford Valvoline NextGen 177.825 30.367 -0.667
22 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 177.801 30.371 -0.671
23 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 177.020 30.505 -0.805
24 Scott Speed Ford Leavine Family Racing 176.505 30.594 -0.894
25 Carl Edwards Ford UPS 176.217 30.644 -0.944
26 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row 175.970 30.687 -0.987
27 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy 175.730 30.729 -1.029
28 Bobby Labonte Toyota Scott Products 175.615 30.749 -1.049
29 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 175.211 30.820 -1.120
30 Josh Wise* Ford MDS Transport 175.080 30.843 -1.143
31 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 175.063 30.846 -1.146
32 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 174.757 30.900 -1.200
33 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 174.695 30.911 -1.211
34 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King 174.402 30.963 -1.263
35 Michael McDowell Ford Presbyterian Healthcare System 174.402 30.963 -1.263
36 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 174.345 30.973 -1.273
37 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 174.272 30.986 -1.286
38 David Reutimann Chevrolet Outsourcing in the [email protected] 173.511 31.122 -1.422
39 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 172.199 31.359 -1.659
40 David Gilliland+ Ford Taco Bell
41 Ken Schrader+ Ford Federated Auto Parts
42 Dave Blaney+ Chevrolet SealWrap
43 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 173.132 31.190 -1.490
J.J. Yeley Toyota America Israel Racing
Mike Skinner Toyota CrusaderStaffing.com

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