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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS stops in the pits on his way to his win Sunday, March 1, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS races to victory Sunday, March 1, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with a burnout Sunday, March 1, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory Sunday, March 1, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, soc during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, drives in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole board after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualifies in second position Friday, February 27, 2015 for a front row position start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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