Johnson wins pole, breaks Pocono track record

Jimmie Johnson certainly was flying Friday afternoon at Pocono Raceway.

Carrying a scheme on his No.48 Chevrolet promoting the new Disney Pixar movie “Planes”, Johnson soared to the pole position for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Johnson’s lap around the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway in 49.819 seconds/180.654 mph broke the previous track record set by Joey Logano in June,2012.

“The lap was awesome, clearly,”Johnson said after winning his 31st career pole. “I knew I was going fast, but I didn’t have a good frame of reference of what was good and what was bad.

“I was very relived to hear as I crossed the finish line that I was on top.”

Friday’s pole marked the second time in 2013 the five-time champion has won the pole this season, his other coming at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season.

By starting first, Johnson will have the chance to win both races at Pocono Raceway in 2013 by starting from the pole. If Johnson could win Sunday, it would mark the first time since 2006 when Denny Hamlin swept the Pocono races from the pole.

Kyle Busch, who held the top-spot in the qualifying session early on, will start next to Johnson when the green flag drops Sunday afternoon.

After qualifying, Busch was critical of Johnson’s No.48 team after they were placed on NASCAR’s “five minute clock” when Johnson was scheduled to qualify.

“A lot of these other teams figure out how to play by the rules. It seems like there’s one that’s sometimes late,” said Busch who noted that Johnson’s team is late to the qualifying grid more than any other team.

“Every time they’re late, they’re always fast. Maybe we need to be late.”

Brickyard 400 winner from one week ago, Ryan Newman, qualified the same car he won the race at Indianapolis in the fourth position.

43 cars attempted to qualify for the 43-car field, meaning no cars failed to qualify.

GoBowling.com 400 Starting Lineup 

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Ryan Newman
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Greg Biffle
  8. Marcos Ambrose
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Aric Almriola
  11. Brad Keselowski
  12. Jamie McMurray
  13. Jeff Burton
  14. Kevin Harvick
  15. AJ Allmendinger
  16. Clint Bowyer
  17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  18. Juan Pablo Montoya
  19. Tony Stewart
  20. Paul Menard
  21. Jeff Gordon
  22. Travis Kvapil
  23. Matt Kenseth
  24. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  25. Martin Truex Jr.
  26. Michael McDowell
  27. Mark Martin
  28. Casey Mears
  29. David Ragan
  30. David Stremme
  31. Dave Blaney
  32. Bobby Labonte
  33. Danica Patrick
  34. David Reutimann
  35. JJ Yeley
  36. David Gilliland
  37. Landon Cassill
  38. Joe Nemechek
  39. Josh Wise
  40. Timmy Hill
  41. Alex Kennedy
  42. Tony Raines

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