Johnson Captures Coors Light Pole at Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson will lead the field to the green flag Sunday for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet scored his first pole in 58 races with a new track record time of 25.147 and a speed of 143.158 mph.

Johnson spoke about the gains his team has made in recent weeks, stating that his team “didn’t have the summer that we wanted, but these guys have been working so hard on the No. 48 team and at Hendrick Motorsports. So, I’m very happy to see the progress and the direction things are going. It’s been a little bit, everywhere. If we keep doing that, we’re going to close this season out just like we want to and be ready for 2016.”

Kurt Busch and his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will join Johnson on the front row with a time of 25.196 and a speed of 142.880 mph.

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Busch was somewhat disappointed with the runner-up starting position saying he felt that he “let the team down a little on that lap because our car is better than that. But starting up front here is a big advantage and we’ll work on the car a little tomorrow to fine tune and be ready to go out and race on Sunday and hope for a win.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in third after a time of 25.249 and a speed of 142.580 mph. Carl Edwards’ 142.501 mph lap in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota earned him a fourth place start and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet with a time of 25.300 and a speed of 142.292 mph.

Kyle Larson will start his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in sixth while Erik Jones, filling in for the suspended Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 JGR Toyota, will begin the race in seventh place. Kevin Harvick, who has won the last four consecutive races at Phoenix,  qualified in the eighth position with his SHR No. 4 Chevrolet. Kasey Kahne will start his No. 5 HMS Chevrolet in ninth and Kyle Busch rounds out the top-10 in his No. 18 JGR Toyota.

Of the remaining Chase-eligible drivers, Jeff Gordon will start in 11th, Joey Logano in 14th and Brad Keselowski, who qualified in 18th, will be the lowest starting Chase driver.

Forty-three cars were entered, so nobody was sent home.

Complete Starting Lineup:

Position Car No. Driver Make Speed
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 143.158
2 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 142.88
3 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 142.58
4 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 142.501
5 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Chevrolet 142.292
6 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 142.287
7 20 Erik Jones Toyota 142.219
8 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 142.068
9 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 142.062
10 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 141.833
11 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 141.409
12 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 141.409
13 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 141.665
14 22 Joey Logano Ford 141.649
15 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 141.393
16 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 141.343
17 43 Aric Almirola Ford 141.282
18 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 141.271
19 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 140.944
20 16 Greg Biffle Ford 140.691
21 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 140.378
22 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 140.28
23 47 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 140.252
24 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 139.735
25 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 139.492
26 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 139.459
27 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 139.265
28 9 Sam Hornish, Jr. Ford 139.114
29 55 David Ragan Toyota 138.91
30 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 138.9
31 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 138.739
32 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 138.212
33 26 J.J. Yeley Toyota 138.164
34 38 David Gilliland Ford 137.878
35 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 137.868
36 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet 137.799
37 23 Jeb Burton Toyota 136.997
38 35 Cole Whitt Ford 136.82
39 32 Joey Gase Ford 136.747
40 34 Brett Moffitt Ford 136.462
41 98 Ryan Preece Ford 135.486
42 33 Ryan Ellis Chevrolet 134.71
43 62 Timmy Hill Chevrolet 131.507

 

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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