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Pocono: Cup qualifying

Jimmie Johnson will start Sunday's GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway from pole position alongside Kyle Busch.
Jimmie Johnson continued his majestic progression through this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, claiming his second pole of 2013 and his 31st pole in 420 starts for this weekend's event at Pocono Raceway where he's started from pole on three occasions in the past.

Johnson's lap time of 49.819s (180.654mph) was just four thousandths of a second faster than Kyle Busch, who will start alongside him on the front row. Johnson's time is a new track record for the Tricky Triangle, making it the 11th qualifying record so far this season that has been overturned since the introduction of the new Gen-6 car at the start of 2013.

"I went over a second faster than what I did in practice," Johnson pointed out, before adding that he felt he could have been even faster. "Another shot at it I think I could polish up my lap and flow a little bit better. It took everything I threw at it and then it made me question if there might be a little bit more," he said. "What a great race car."

Johnson was slightly late getting through technical inspection, and he explained the problem: "We had to go through a second time. The left-rear tow was off a whopping one thousandth of an inch. We had to go through again and rolled up there and ran our lap."

Behind Johnson and Busch, Carl Edwards and last week's race winner Ryan Newman will make up the second row of the grid. "Starting position is really important here. We feel like we were pretty fast in race trim," Edwards said. "I am ready to go racing. I am pretty excited about hopefully our turnaround from last week. That was miserable.”

Edwards' rookie team mate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had crashed early in the Friday morning practice at Pocono in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. "I was just getting used to this racetrack," he explained afterwards. "Last time here was the first time I ever downshifted really at an oval so I was getting used to that.

"I didn't downshift the first five laps through the tunnel turn but then I said, 'Hey, I am going to downshift here and see if we can get a little extra speed.' I downshifted a little too early and it jumped out from under me," he admitted.

But fortunately he will not have to pull out the backup car, which would have seen him demoted to starting Sunday's race from the back: "I thought we were bringing a backup out but we got lucky and scraped the right rear," he confirmed. "I got lucky and didn't mess it up as bad as I thought it was going to be."

Qualifying times

1. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 49.819s (Pole) 180.654mph
2. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 49.823s (+ 0.004s) 180.639mph
3. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 49.950s (+ 0.131s) 180.180mph
4. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 49.999s (+ 0.180s) 180.004mph
5. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 50.085s (+ 0.266s) 179.695mph
6. #22 Joey Logano Ford 50.111s (+ 0.292s) 179.601mph
7. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 50.130s (+ 0.311s) 179.533mph
8. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 50.187s (+ 0.368s) 179.329mph
9. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 50.239s (+ 0.420s) 179.144mph
10. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 50.253s (+ 0.434s) 179.094mph
11. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 50.297s (+ 0.478s) 178.937mph
12. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 50.322s (+ 0.503s) 178.848mph
13. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 50.373s (+ 0.554s) 178.667mph
14. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 50.418s (+ 0.599s) 178.508mph
15. #51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 50.420s (+ 0.601s) 178.501mph
16. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 50.446s (+ 0.627s) 178.409mph
17. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 50.487s (+ 0.668s) 178.264mph
18. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 50.488s (+ 0.669s) 178.260mph
19. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 50.546s (+ 0.727s) 178.056mph
20. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 50.553s (+ 0.734s) 178.031mph
21. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 50.567s (+ 0.748s) 177.982mph
22. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 50.659s (+ 0.840s) 177.658mph
23. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 50.678s (+ 0.859s) 177.592mph
24. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 50.702s (+ 0.883s) 177.508mph
25. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 50.721s (+ 0.902s) 177.441mph
26. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 50.779s (+ 0.960s) 177.239mph
27. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 50.784s (+ 0.965s) 177.221mph
28. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 50.850s (+ 1.031s) 176.991mph
29. #13 Casey Mears Ford 50.864s (+ 1.045s) 176.942mph
30. #34 David Ragan Ford 50.894s (+ 1.075s) 176.838mph
31. #30 David Stremme Toyota 50.899s (+ 1.080s) 176.821mph
32. #7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 51.059s (+ 1.240s) 176.267mph
33. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 51.108s (+ 1.289s) 176.098mph
34. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 51.177s (+ 1.358s) 175.860mph
35. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 51.211s (+ 1.392s) 175.743mph
36. #36 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 51.376s (+ 1.557s) 175.179mph
37. #38 David Gilliland Ford 51.415s (+ 1.596s) 175.046mph
38. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 51.462s (+ 1.643s) 174.886mph
39. #87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 51.696s (+ 1.877s) 174.095mph
40. #35 Josh Wise Ford 51.815s (+ 1.996s) 173.695mph
41. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 52.305s (+ 2.486s) 172.068mph
42. #19 Alex Kennedy Toyota 53.286s (+ 3.467s) 168.900mph
43. #33 Tony Raines Chevrolet 53.960s (+ 4.141s) 166.790mph

Practice 1 times

1. #78 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 50.600s (Leader) 177.866mph (13 laps)
2. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota 50.653s (-0.053s) 177.680mph (16 laps)
3. #16 Greg Biffle Ford 50.782s (-0.182s) 177.228mph (13 laps)
4. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 50.914s (-0.314s) 176.769mph (12 laps)
5. #22 Joey Logano Ford 50.929s (-0.329s) 176.717mph (18 laps)
6. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 50.992s (-0.392s) 176.498mph (16 laps)
7. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 51.006s (-0.406s) 176.450mph (11 laps)
8. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 51.029s (-0.429s) 176.370mph (11 laps)
9. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 51.039s (-0.439s) 176.336mph (18 laps)
10. #99 Carl Edwards Ford 51.040s (-0.440s) 176.332mph (15 laps)
11. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 51.058s (-0.458s) 176.270mph (12 laps)
12. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 51.080s (-0.480s) 176.194mph (18 laps)
13. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 51.111s (-0.511s) 176.087mph (12 laps)
14. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 51.130s (-0.530s) 176.022mph (9 laps)
15. #2 Brad Keselowski Ford 51.150s (-0.550s) 175.953mph (17 laps)
16. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 51.154s (-0.554s) 175.939mph (9 laps)
17. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 51.176s (-0.576s) 175.864mph (14 laps)
18. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 51.179s (-0.579s) 175.853mph (9 laps)
19. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 51.224s (-0.624s) 175.699mph (12 laps)
20. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 51.298s (-0.698s) 175.445mph (16 laps)
21. #51 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 51.405s (-0.805s) 175.080mph (15 laps)
22. #43 Aric Almirola Ford 51.455s (-0.855s) 174.910mph (12 laps)
23. #98 Michael McDowell Ford 51.469s (-0.869s) 174.863mph (7 laps)
24. #93 Travis Kvapil Toyota 51.571s (-0.971s) 174.517mph (13 laps)
25. #47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 51.592s (-0.992s) 174.446mph (14 laps)
26. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 51.596s (-0.996s) 174.432mph (13 laps)
27. #20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 51.630s (-1.030s) 174.317mph (13 laps)
28. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 51.695s (-1.095s) 174.098mph (12 laps)
29. #55 Mark Martin Toyota 51.739s (-1.139s) 173.950mph (16 laps)
30. #30 David Stremme Toyota 51.819s (-1.219s) 173.681mph (9 laps)
31. #10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 51.865s (-1.265s) 173.527mph (12 laps)
32. #36 JJ Yeley hevrolet 51.903s (-1.303s) 173.400mph (3 laps)
33. #83 David Reutimann Toyota 51.948s (-1.348s) 173.250mph (10 laps)
34. #13 Casey Mears Ford 52.055s (-1.455s) 172.894mph (10 laps)
35. #40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 52.101s (-1.501s) 172.741mph (5 laps)
36. #35 Josh Wise Ford 52.123s (-1.523s) 172.668mph (9 laps)
37. #34 David Ragan Ford 52.238s (-1.638s) 172.288mph (29 laps)
38. #7 Dave Blaney hevrolet 52.364s (-1.764s) 171.874mph (7 laps)
39. #87 Joe Nemechek oyota 52.496s (-1.896s) 171.442mph (2 laps)
40. #38 David Gilliland Ford 52.812s (-2.212s) 170.416mph (11 laps)
41. #32 Timmy Hill Ford 53.409s (-2.809s) 168.511mph (6 laps)
42. #19 Alex Kennedy Toyota 53.448s (-2.848s) 168.388mph (10 laps)
43. #33 Tony Raines Chevrolet 55.045s (-4.445s) 163.503mph (4 laps)



Related Pictures

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A view of the helmet for Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Planes Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2013 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Peanut Butter Toyota, climbs out of his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2013 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Planes Chevrolet, stands on the grid after qualifying on the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2013 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Planes Chevrolet, signs his name after qualifying first for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2013 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualified for 39th position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who is in the Chase, is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet SS qualified for eighth position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Khane, who is in the Chase, is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, hugs Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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