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Second consecutive pole for Johnson

Jimmie Johnson continued to press his advantage in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series by winning a second consecutive pole position - and is aiming to convert it to his second win in a row, too.
You don't get to be a five time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion without knowing how to time your charge to the finish of the Chase to perfection. And right now, it looks like Jimmie Johnson is delivering a master class in how to do it, as he seeks his sixth title in seven seasons.

"I think it surprised us all a little bit to lay one down like that," he said afterwards. "We didn't unload like we wanted to. We made a lot of progress through the practice session, and then got it right there for qualifying," he added.

"We exceeded expectations in qualifying," admitted Johnson. "A top ten was really the goal going into it, especially with our seeding process, we felt like going out as early as we did, the guys later would have a bigger advantage, and pick up some speed on us."

Not that getting pole was any sort of automatic assurance of success on Sunday, as Johnson knows all too well.

"As you get closer to the end of the year, they feel like they mean a little bit more," he added. "But, it's just another pole. Not saying that in a negative way, but the benefits that come with it are the same that you would have at any other track.

"We have 500 long, gruelling miles on Sunday, so we won a battle today." he said. "But the larger battle is definitely on Sunday here at the track. Hopefully all of these battles that we are winning right now will total up to winning the war at the end of the year."

Johnson's time of 28.261s (191.076mph) on the 1.5-mile banked Texas Motor Speedway was just a tenth faster than Greg Biffle who will start alongside Johnson on the front row for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday afternoon.

"The #48 put down a heck of a lap going that early," said Biffle. "I drove it down in there and committed but couldn't hold it down from the centre out. The car was sliding and skating and I probably carried too much speed on entry and paid the price on exit. I backed it up a little in three and four and got a better three and four."

Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer line up on the second row of the grid, while Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano line up on row three making it a Toyota lock-out of positions three through six.

Trevor Bayne qualified in seventh, with Johnson's main Chase rival Brad Keselowski relieved to break a recent run of bad qualifying performances to claim eighth on the starting grid.




Related Pictures

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The #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet (Jimmie Johnson) (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, poses with Doug Turnbull and the Pole Award Rifle after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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