"The other part that's really cool is he's created this opportunity," Johnson continued. "He's wanted to run a limited schedule. He's been able to do it a couple of times and he's found a great situation there at Michael Waltrip Racing. And then mentally and physically, the work that he puts in and has put in over the years keeps him in this position.
"There are guys a decade younger than he is with back issues and knee issues at a much younger age. Mark has worked through some of those issues himself but has worked hard on his physical fitness. If you are strong physically, it's also good for the mind. And he's covered those bases and continues to show it," he finished.
Martin and Johnson will line-up ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman and Martin's MWR team mate Clint Bowyer on Sunday for the 400-mile Cup race.
"I'm happy to be back in better qualifying order than we have been," said Newman. "It was a good run for the Quicken Loans Chevrolet that is the most important part. It gets us good pit selection and things like that on a pit road that can be treacherous at times."
Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Kyle and Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin round out the top ten starters for the race. Johnson's Hendrick team mates Kasey Kahne (13th), Jeff Gordon (14th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17th) had solid qualifying runs even if they couldn't quite match the five-time champion's achievement, while Newman's team mate and car owner Tony Stewart will be disappointed with only managing 29th.
Scott Speed was the highest-placed of the cars having to qualify on pace, but Josh Wise and Cole Whitt failed to make it onto the 43-car grid.
Full qualifying times and positions