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Jimmie Johnson claimed his second straight pole by setting fast time in qualifying for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Johnson, who won the pole last week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and then drove to the win, wheeled his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports to a fast lap of 28.261 seconds at 191.076 mph around the 1.5-mile oval.
It was Johnson’s fourth pole this season, his first at Texas and the 29th of his Sprint Cup career, which now ties him with Ricky Rudd for 23rd on the all-time Sprint Cup pole list.
“Well, we didn’t unload like we wanted to,” said Johnson, who currently leads the championship standings by two points over Brad Keselowski, who qualified eighth. “The track was so fast the first 15 minutes that we missed an opportunity to really post a time, but as practice wore on we improved the car. The pace slowed up a lot, so we felt like we were in contention. I think that surprised us all a little bit to lay one down like that. Very proud of the Lowe’s team. That Chevy was fast and we’ll do the things that we need to tomorrow in race trim and get this Lowe’s Chevy in victory lane on Sunday.”
Greg Biffle will start on the outside of row one after turning a lap of 28.364 seconds at 190.382 mph. Kyle Busch was third (28.402 seconds at 190.127 mph), while Clint Bowyer (28.411 seconds at 190.067 mph) and Martin Truex Jr., (28.422 seconds at 189.994 mph) rounded out the top-five.
Forty-six drivers attempted to qualify for the AAA 500. The drivers not making the cut in the 43-car field were Stephen Leicht, David Stremme and Kelly Bires.
Chevrolet took the top spot among manufacturers via Johnson’s pole run. Ford was next-best at the hands of Biffle. Toyota was the third-fastest make thanks to Busch, while Keselowski carried the flag for Dodge (28.491 seconds at 189.534 mph).
The AAA 500 gets underway at 3 p.m. EST Sunday, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 2 p.m.