Johnson robs Newman of Chicagoland pole

Jimmie Johnson grabbed the pole for Sunday's 400-miler at Chicagoland Speedway. Johnson's lap of 188.147 mph just eclipsed pole-master Ryan Newman to earn his second upfront start of 2005. "I feel really good about it," said Johnson. "I have...

Jimmie Johnson grabbed the pole for Sunday's 400-miler at Chicagoland Speedway. Johnson's lap of 188.147 mph just eclipsed pole-master Ryan Newman to earn his second upfront start of 2005.

"I feel really good about it," said Johnson. "I have been really critical about myself and my qualifying ability.to go out today and feel so good about the car in practice and back it up in qualifying.it feels really good.

"We are known more for winning races than winning poles."

It is Johnson's eighth career pole. Johnson currently leads Nextel Cup point standings by 73 points over Greg Biffle (who qualified sixth).

"We should be good," Johnson said. "The extra practice we have tomorrow allows us to mess up out car and the other guys to make there's better."

Newman had to settle for second with a lap of 188.055 mph. It is Newman's fourth outside pole of the season.

"It was a good lap," Newman said. "I'm excited about picking up speed, and I think conditions are about the same as we had in practice. I'm happy with the effort for sure."

Casey Mears, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers complete the top five.

"That was a good run and we feel good about it," Mears commented. "Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) and the guys worked hard. And we found some things back at the shop body-wise, that helped us out at Michigan. We took the same car from Michigan to here, and we're real fast again.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be tough t find the right balance for race day, but I feel real good about it. It's a better race car than we had at Texas. If we'd had this car at Texas I think we could have given Greg (Biffle) a real run for his money. I'm happy with the improvements the team has made and we've just got to keep getting better."

"We don't need to do anything spectacular. Just be consistent and I think we can get a top-five finish."

The top six drivers all broke the track record set by Jeff Gordon last year.

Notably, Tony Stewart, who wrecked his primary race car during practice and had to be transported to a local hospital for X-rays; was checked out OK but JJ Yeley qualified the car.

"Tony was released from the infield care center and the hospital has released him to drive," said crew chief Greg Zipadelli. "He's pretty sore. He's going to rest.hopefully Tony will be up and running for practice tomorrow."

Yeley qualified the No. 20 Chevy 13th, but the car will have to start from the rear of the field due to a driver change between time trials and the race.

Forty-seven cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the show were Kenny Wallace, PJ Jones, Mike Garvey and Wayne Anderson.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Brian Vickers , Wayne Anderson , Mike Garvey