Jimmie Johnson will start from pole position in the longest NASCAR race of the year.
Jimmie Johnson (Hendrick Motorsports) and Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) will lead the field of 43 to the green flag in Sunday's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
For Johnson, it's his 33rd career pole and his first this season as he hopes to end his winless streak at the track many proclaim, 'The house that Jimmie built."
"In qualifying today it was really interesting to start with the sun out...then the grip came in," said Johnson, who posted a lap of 194.911 mph.
There wasn't a single incident in any of the three rounds but plenty of surprises. Ryan Newman placed 44th out of 45 in the opening round due to a crew member putting a left side tire on the right rear by mistake. He will make the race via owner points. Other notables such as Kyle Larson (25th), Jamie McMurray (26th), Jeff Gordon (27th), Kurt Busch (28th), and Austin Dillon (32nd) did not advance.
The second round saw Danica Patrick post the fastest time, but she was not able to back that time up in the round that really counted. She will start fourth (best starting position for a female ever in the Coke 600), sharing the second row on the grid with Kasey Kahne who clocked in third. Fifth went to Clint Bowyer, who was followed by Denny Hamlin in sixth, Kyle Busch in seventh, Joey Logano eighth, Marcos Ambrose ninth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th. Justin Allgaier was the highest qualifying ROTY contender in 17th.
Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick didn't even put a time down in the final round due to their teams waiting too long to send them out. They did not make it to the line to start their flying lap before the red flag was displayed, limiting them to 11th and 12th on the grid.
Dave Blaney and JJ Yeley were the two drivers who failed to qualify for the race.