Want to know even more about Jimmie Johnson and Team 48? See what journalists from around the country are saying about Team Lowe's Racing.
Jimmie Johnson qualified first for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s “Dover White” Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports turned a lap of 29.700 seconds at 181.818 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.
Johnson captured his 26th career Sprint Cup pole and first in 60 races by posting a lap of 29.700 seconds at 181.818 mph. Johnson earned his last pole on Sept. 24, 2010 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
“We have been in a dry spell in qualifying,” said Johnson, who finished third in the track’s inaugural race last year. “We have had a lot of seconds and a lot of very fast race cars, but there was a stretch in 2007 and 2008 there when I won some poles. But my entire career it hasn’t been a strong suit for me. I have always been much better at racing and I have always liked to have a rabbit or somebody out there to chase and today you know, things went well in race trim and in qualifying trim and I got a great lap there in qualifying.”
Kyle Busch will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 29.765 seconds at 181.421 mph. Denny Hamlin was third (29.810 seconds at 181.147 mph), while Kevin Harvick (29.939 seconds at 180.367 mph) and Ryan Newman (29.944 seconds at 180.337 mph) rounded out the top five.
Forty-five drivers attempted to qualify for the Quaker State 400. Those not making the cut in the 43-car field were Mike Skinner and J.J. Yeley.
As far as manufacturers went, Chevrolet took the top spot via Johnson’s pole run. Toyota was next best at the hands of Busch, while Dodge was the third-fastest make thanks to eighth-quick Brad Keselowski (29.966 seconds at 180.204 mph). Eleventh-quick Greg Biffle (30.041 seconds at 179.754 mph) carried the flag for Ford.
The Quaker State 400 gets underway at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday with live coverage provided by TNT beginning with a pre-race show at 6:30 p.m.