Johnson Nabs Chicagoland Pole
JOLIET, Ill. – Jimmie Johnson will start his pursuit of a sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship from the pole at Chicagoland Speedway.
Johnson claimed the top spot in qualifying Saturday for the Geico 400, clicking off a 29.53-second lap at 182.865 mph. It is his second pole of the season and 27th of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.
The driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet will attempt to earn his first victory at Chicagoland Speedway, one of only five active Sprint Cup tracks he does not have a victory at, on Sunday.
“This is a great start, obviously,” Johnson said. “We did everything right today, which I’m excited about. Have to say more than anything I’m excited because yesterday we were fair and needed a little more and the adjustment came into our race car and really helped the race car.
“We’ve been saying all along we’re ready for the Chase to start and now it’s time to go out there and prove it,” Johnson said.
Aric Almirola put the famous No. 43 Ford owned by Richard Petty in second on the grid. Matt Kenseth qualified third, followed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards.
The other Chase drivers qualified sixth (Kasey Kahne), eighth (Denny Hamlin), ninth (Clint Bowyer), 13th (Brad Keselowski), 18th (Martin Truex, Jr.), 19th (Jeff Gordon), 22nd (Greg Biffle), 29th (Tony Stewart) and 35th (Kevin Harvick).
The go-or-go-homers that qualified for Sunday’s race are Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell, Scott Speed, David Stremme, Joe Nemechek, Mike Bliss, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise.
Scott Riggs, Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley and Jason Leffler failed to qualify.