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Johnson claims Dover pole

Jimmie JohnsonJimmie Johnson beat Juan Pablo Montoya to pole position for the second race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup at Dover International Speedway.

The reigning champion set a time of 22.878 seconds at an average speed of 157.356 mph on his first lap, beating Montoya's benchmark by 0.096s and claiming his 21st career pole and his second at Dover.

"That's one of the more intense laps I've had in a long time," said Hendrick driver Johnson, who had been fastest in practice and is hoping to sweep both of the year's Dover races.

"I'm glad it was fast. Sometimes you're that out of control and the car wasn't fast. But we've got a great racecar. I got after it and hopefully it would hold up, had to hold on to it the entire way around the lap. This car has simply been fast off the truck."

Montoya (Earnhardt Ganassi) maintained his strong qualifying performances in the Chase with his second consecutive front row start after claiming pole position a week ago at Loudon. The Colombian's effort was remarkable, given that he was the first car in the order to complete his run, when track conditions were not ideal.

"We had a pretty good lap," said Montoya. "I was surprised to run so close to what we ran in practice. When Jimmie ran those laps in practice I knew that unless he did a huge mistake we were not going to get that pole.

"The plan was to run two laps, being the first guy out you never know. But when I finished the first lap I knew there was no way I was going to get more out of the car. I didn't have anything else. Jimmie beat me through [Turns] 1 and 2."

Ryan Newman, a three-time winner at the track, qualified third, while Greg Biffle, winner a year ago at Dover, will share the second row of the grid with him. David Reutimann, who sat on pole position in the autumn race, rounded out the top five, while Kasey Kahne was sixth despite reverting to the old version of the Dodge engine.

Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner at Dover was seventh fastest, while his Hendrick team-mate and Chase leader Mark Martin was only 14th. Among the drivers in the title battle Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards was the worst in qualifying, ending up only 30th.

David Gilliland was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 18th, while Scott Wimmer was the only one who failed to qualify after setting the slowest time during the session.

Pos  Driver             Car        Speed    Time     Gap
 1.  Jimmie Johnson     Chevrolet  157.356  22.878s
 2.  Juan Montoya       Chevrolet  156.699  22.974s  + 0.096s
 3.  Ryan Newman        Chevrolet  156.393  23.019s  + 0.141s
 4.  Greg Biffle        Ford       156.284  23.035s  + 0.157s
 5.  David Reutimann    Toyota     155.979  23.080s  + 0.202s
 6.  Kasey Kahne        Dodge      155.871  23.096s  + 0.218s
 7.  Jeff Gordon        Chevrolet  155.777  23.110s  + 0.232s
 8.  Clint Bowyer       Chevrolet  155.555  23.143s  + 0.265s
 9.  Sam Hornish Jr     Dodge      155.494  23.152s  + 0.274s
10.  Paul Menard        Ford       155.434  23.161s  + 0.283s
11.  Joey Logano        Toyota     155.373  23.170s  + 0.292s
12.  Brian Vickers      Toyota     155.353  23.173s  + 0.295s
13.  Denny Hamlin       Toyota     155.193  23.197s  + 0.319s
14.  Mark Martin        Chevrolet  155.045  23.219s  + 0.341s
15.  Kyle Busch         Toyota     154.992  23.227s  + 0.349s
16.  Kurt Busch         Dodge      154.905  23.240s  + 0.362s
17.  David Stremme      Dodge      154.832  23.251s  + 0.373s
18.  David Gilliland    Chevrolet  154.639  23.280s  + 0.402s
19.  AJ Allmendinger    Dodge      154.633  23.281s  + 0.403s
20.  Kevin Harvick      Chevrolet  154.606  23.285s  + 0.407s
21.  David Ragan        Ford       154.573  23.290s  + 0.412s
22.  Tony Stewart       Chevrolet  154.533  23.296s  + 0.418s
23.  Matt Kenseth       Ford       154.480  23.304s  + 0.426s
24.  Dale Earnhardt Jr  Chevrolet  154.407  23.315s  + 0.437s
25.  Jamie McMurray     Ford       154.288  23.333s  + 0.455s
26.  Reed Sorenson      Dodge      154.136  23.356s  + 0.478s
27.  Marcos Ambrose     Toyota     154.070  23.366s  + 0.488s
28.  Jeff Burton        Chevrolet  153.879  23.395s  + 0.517s
29.  Casey Mears        Chevrolet  153.807  23.406s  + 0.528s
30.  Carl Edwards       Ford       153.557  23.444s  + 0.566s
31.  Robby Gordon       Toyota     153.440  23.462s  + 0.584s
32.  Martin Truex Jr    Chevrolet  153.387  23.470s  + 0.592s
33.  Regan Smith        Chevrolet  153.211  23.497s  + 0.619s
34.  Elliott Sadler     Dodge      153.107  23.513s  + 0.635s
35.  Dave Blaney        Toyota     153.074  23.518s  + 0.640s
36.  Mike Bliss         Dodge      153.029  23.525s  + 0.647s
37.  John Andretti      Chevrolet  152.938  23.539s  + 0.661s
38.  Michael Waltrip    Toyota     152.873  23.549s  + 0.671s
39.  Scott Speed        Toyota     152.620  23.588s  + 0.710s
40.  Joe Nemechek       Toyota     152.046  23.677s  + 0.799s
41.  Bobby Labonte      Ford       152.001  23.684s  + 0.806s
42.  Tony Raines        Dodge      151.547  23.755s  + 0.877s
43.  Michael McDowell   Toyota     151.388  23.780s  + 0.902s

Did not qualify:

     Scott Wimmer       Chevrolet  149.247  24.121s  + 1.243

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