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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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for third position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualifies for 2nd position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Newman is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Gordon is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A view of a decal placed on the #14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart (not pictured), during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (left) congratulates his son Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. This will mark Chase Elliott`s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brett Moffitt, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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