Juan Montoya's pole position is his second at Talladega, his third of the season and the fifth of his Cup career. Distant Chase contender Clint Bowyer will start alongside him on the front row of the grid, while on the second row Kurt Busch lines up alongside Joe Nemechek who put in a spectacular qualifying performance.

Montoya's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team mate Jamie McMurray came with high expectations of another strong showing, but could only manage to qualify 12th. "We always run really good here," said Montoya, who combined with McMurray has taken seven poles this season. "We always have good race cars. Right now, get ourselves a good pit stall for the race and then see what happens."

Of the three main Sprint Cup rivals, Kevin Harvick is highest in 14th position ahead of Denny Hamlin in 17th and Jimmie Johnson who will start immediately behind him on the double file line-up in 19th.

Landon Cassill, Travis Kvapil and Johnny Sauter failed to qualify for the 43-car field after David Gilliland, Robert Richardson and Robby Gordon all got in through owner's points, and Bill Elliott claimed a champion's provisional.

Qualifying times

1. Juan Montoya 51.863s
2. Clint Bowyer -0.040s
3. Kurt Busch -0.071s
4. Joe Nemechek -0.109s
5. Jeff Burton -0.135s
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -0.207s
7. Dave Blaney -0.213s
8. Ryan Newman -0.248s
9. Casey Mears -0.288s
10. Sam Hornish Jr. -0.290s
11. Brad Keselowski -0.305s
12. Jamie McMurray -0.310s
13. Jeff Fuller -0.349s
14. Kevin Harvick -0.358s
15. Michael McDowell -0.387s
16. Kasey Kahne -0.395s
17. Denny Hamlin -0.450s
18. Martin Truex Jr. -0.462s
19. Jimmie Johnson -0.465s
20. Michael Waltrip -0.488s
21. David Reutimann -0.504s
22. Chad McCumbee -0.511s
23. Carl Edwards -0.516s
24. Bobby Labonte -0.522s
25. Joey Logano -0.525s
26. Tony Stewart -0.526s
27. Matt Kenseth -0.526s
28. David Ragan -0.565s
29. Scott Speed -0.580s
30. Mark Martin -0.602s
31. Jeff Gordon -0.637s
32. Kyle Busch -0.647s
33. Elliott Sadler -0.664s
34. Greg Biffle -0.678s
35. Marcos Ambrose -0.753s
36. A.J. Allmendinger -0.787s
37. Aric Almirola -0.847s
38. Paul Menard -0.853s
39. Regan Smith -0.936s
40. David Gilliland+ -1.465s
41. Robert Richardson Jr.+ -1.627s
42. Robby Gordon+ -1.779s
43. Bill Elliott~

Did not qualify

44. Landon Cassill -0.864s
45. Travis Kvapil -1.201s
46. Johnny Sauter -2.203s

+ Set by owner points
~ Champion's Provisional