Despite going out relatively early during pole qualifying on Friday for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson put up a lap time of 28.261 seconds, good enough for the pole starting spot.
“The 48 put down a heck of a lap going that early,” Greg Biffle said prior to the end of the session. “I am sure some guys that are faster here are coming up but we will have to wait and see.”
Nobody later in the session was able to better Johnson’s lap, though, and the series points leader took the fourth pole of the year and the 29th of his career.
“I’m in the mindset of sitting on the pole and winning the race,” Johnson said. “I think that’s what you have to do with as tight as the points have been and with how strong the competitors have been on the race track.”
Biffle posted the second-fastest lap time of 28.364 seconds to start alongside Johnson on the front row.
“I drove it down in there and committed but couldn’t hold it down from the center out,” Biffle said. “The car was sliding and skating and I probably carried too much speed on entry and paid the price on exit. I backed it up a little in three and four and got a better three and four.”
Toyota drivers claimed the remainder of the top-five starting spots, with Kyle Busch qualifying third, Clint Bowyer fourth and Martin Truex Jr. in fifth.
“It’s been a good day for our team and just missed it a little bit there,” Truex said. “I didn’t quite get a perfect lap. We tried a little air pressure adjustment there too and I’m not sure if it was a combination of the two or if it was all me or all the tires. It was a good lap, just not exactly what we were looking for.”
Another Toyota driver, Joey Logano, took the sixth spot.
Qualifying seventh through 10th were Trevor Bayne, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. With six Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers qualifying in the top-10, Kevin Harvick was the slowest of the 12 Chasers, coming in 23rd.
Forty-six drivers made qualifying attempts. Drivers who failed to make the race include Stephen Leicht, Kelly Bires and David Stremme.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
– Follow Stock Car Spin on Twitter @SCSblog or like Stock Car Spin on Facebook.
– Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner