Jimmie Johnson to Start on Outside Front Row at California Fontana, CA -- Three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS, qualified second for the Auto Club 500 at Auto...
Jimmie Johnson to Start on Outside Front Row at California
Fontana, CA -- Three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's/KOBALT Tools Impala SS, qualified second for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway. The effort will put the California native on the outside of the front row at his home track, Auto Club Speedway.
Fellow Californian Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS, will roll off sixth for Sunday's 250-lap/500-mile race.
A total of 15 Impala SS drivers qualified to start round two of the 36-race 2009 NSCS season. The race is slated to take the green flag at 3:00 p.m. Pacific (6:00 Eastern) with live coverage on FOX TV, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
JOHNSON: "It was a good lap. I missed one and two a little bit and I think that kind of hurt me in the end. The only other thing I can think of is (Brian) Vickers and I went to IN-N-OUT Burger last night and I had the double-double and he had a single. So for 5/100 of a second, I guess that extra patty killed me."
WHAT SURPRISED YOU AS YOU GOT ON THE TRACK TODAY WITHOUT TESTING? "I kind of forgot about the fact that we haven't tested as today got started. I don't know, I guess I haven't put a lot of thought in to it. In some ways it reminded me of kind of the last time we were here. The guys that were fast last time at this track were fast again. I was surprised to see the No. 99 down in the 20s, or wherever he ended up. I expected him to be a little quicker. But at the same time, Tony (Stewart) and Ryan (Newman) cars ran well today and it is nice to see the Haas organization being as competitive as they are this early and hopefully they can keep that momentum up."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO GET YOUR SELF ON THE FRONT ROW AFTER DAYTONA? WAS THAT AN ANIMAL-STYLE DOUBLE? "No, I'm a grilled onions, ketchup and cheese only for whatever reason. I have gravitated to that after all these years. Didn't go any fries though. Saved a little room and found a Cold Stone and had an awesome ice cream over there so that was nice. That might have hurt me too. I work out so I can go eat all the crap. But Vickers had ice cream too so I can't say the ice cream kept me from getting the pole today.
"Daytona for the last two years, if it is the 500 or the July race, we just have not been as competitive as we wanted and we are working really hard on it. Everything leading up to the race showed us that we felt good about what we were doing and the progress we made. Then the race started and we are wearing right front tires out left and right.
"We are just frustrated with it but at the same time, it is one of 26 races to make the Chase. We didn't get the points we wanted, but we aren't in a panic mode. We felt good coming to this track with the success we had last fall and felt like we would qualify good and hope we race well and we can get some points back."
-credit: gm racing