Phoenix NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson claims pole for Hendrick

Jimmie Johnson claimed pole position in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway

Phoenix NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson claims pole for Hendrick

The six-time Cup champion carried the momentum of his Texas Motor Speedway win last time out to claim the quickest time of the day, 0.049 seconds ahead of Kurt Busch - the best-placed title hopeful.

Dale Earnhardt Jr put in a strong lap in another Hendrick Chevy to finish the session third, 0.053s behind the pole time.

Championship contenders Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr claimed fourth and fifth, ahead of Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth's stand-in Erik Jones.

Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray completed the top 12.

The two championship challengers who couldn't make it to the final qualifying shootout were Penske duo Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski in 14th and 18th respectively. Logano needs a victory to keep his title hopes alive after recent dramas.

It was a qualifying session dominated by a shattering of lap records, with seven drivers in round two smashing Logano's 25.310s previous mark, and all of the top six drivers in the final session beating it.

STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 25.147s -
2 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 25.196s 0.049s
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 25.249s 0.102s
4 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 25.263s 0.116s
5 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 25.300s 0.153s
6 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 25.301s 0.154s
7 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 25.313s 0.166s
8 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 25.340s 0.193s
9 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 25.341s 0.194s
10 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 25.382s 0.235s
11 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 25.458s 0.311s
12 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 25.458s 0.311s
13 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 25.412s -
14 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 25.415s -
15 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 25.461s -
16 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 25.470s -
17 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 25.481s -
18 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 25.483s -
19 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 25.542s -
20 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 25.588s -
21 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 25.645s -
22 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 25.663s -
23 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 25.668s -
24 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 25.763s -
25 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 25.808s -
26 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 25.814s -
27 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 25.850s -
28 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 25.878s -
29 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 25.916s -
30 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 25.918s -
31 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 25.948s -
32 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet 26.047s -
33 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 26.056s -
34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 26.110s -
35 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 26.112s -
36 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 26.125s -
37 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota 26.278s -
38 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 26.312s -
39 Joey Gase Go FAS Racing Ford 26.326s -
40 Brett Moffitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 26.381s -
41 Ryan Preece Phil Parsons Racing Ford 26.571s -
42 Ryan Ellis Circle Sport Chevrolet 26.724s -
43 Timmy Hill Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 27.375s -


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