Johnson wins pole at Texas, Keselowski starts eighth

If you were judge how Jimmie Johnson would qualify based off his result in the first practice session Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, you wouldn’t have thought he’d have much of a chance at the top-spot.

Posting the 27th-fastest time, Johnson went out for his timed lap in the middle of the session, shooting straight to the top of the board.

Typical, yes, with the way NASCAR qualifying order is set based on practice speeds starting with the slowest car going first and the fastest car going last, in theory every car that qualifies should be faster than the previous.

Not on Friday, though.

Johnson’s lap around the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway averaging over 191 mph was enough to give the five-time Sprint Cup champion back-to-back pole positions.

Last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Johnson started from the pole and led the most laps in the 500-lap race en route to his fourth victory on the 2012 campaign. In the process, he also took the point lead away from Brad Keselowski who will start the Sunday’s race from the eighth position.

While Johnson and Keselowski may be close in the points, there previous races at Texas Motor Speedway couldn’t be more different.

After leading the most laps in the April race, Johnson in the end was passed by Greg Biffle in the closing laps of the race and finished second.

As for Keselowski, problems with electronic fuel injection forced him to finish outside the top-30.

With 46 drivers attempting to qualify for Sunday’s race, three missed the starting field.

Stephen Leicht, Kelly Bires and David Stremme did not post laps fast-enough to qualify for the race.

AAA Texas 500 Starting Lineup 

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