Jimmie Johnson turned in a lap time of 29.700 seconds at Kentucky Speedway on Friday evening to claim the pole for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track.
“It was a very comfortable lap; a very good lap,” Johnson said after qualifying. “Qualifying has not been our strong suit over the last two years. So, I’m very happy to get this pole today.”
Johnson’s pole is actually the first “earned” Sprint Cup pole at Kentucky Speedway, as rain cancelled qualifying last year for the track’s first Cup event.
Kyle Busch, who started last year’s race from the top spot, claimed another front row starting spot for this year’s race, posting a 29.765-second qualifying lap to claim the second starting spot to start alongside Johnson on the front row.
Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick qualified third and fourth to share the second row on the starting grid, and Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer qualified fifth and sixth for third-row spots.
Brad Keselowski had the fastest-qualifying Dodge in Friday’s qualifying session, claiming the eighth starting spot. Ford was shut out of the top-10 in qualifying, with Greg Biffle having the fastest Ford in 11th.
Forty-five drivers made qualifying attempts, with J.J. Yeley and Mike Skinner failing to make the race.
The Quaker State 400 is schedule to take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The race can be seen live on TNT, with prerace coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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