|By Connell Sanders Jr||Friday, August 2nd 2013, 21:07 GMT|
Jimmie Johnson claimed a second Pocono pole of the season in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s return to the ‘Tricky Triangle’.
Whereas last time a rain-out sealed Johnson’s top spot on the grid, this time it was a new record lap of 49.819 seconds and 180.654mph that put the Hendrick Chevrolet a scant 0.004s ahead of Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Toyota.
The result was a shock to Johnson, who had been over a second slower in practice and also needed two attempts to get through technical inspection due to the toe issue on the left rear.
The championship leader dominated the Cup series’ last visit to Pocono in June. Johnson has already won four times this season and leads the standings by a huge 75 points approaching the Chase cut-off.
Carl Edwards jumped to third late in the qualifying order, demoting Indianapolis winner Ryan Newman to the outside row two spot.
Kurt Busch again impressed with his qualifying pace as he put Furniture Row’s Chevrolet fifth.
Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola completed the top 10, followed by champion Brad Keselowski.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 49.819s 2. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 49.823s +0.004s 3. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 49.950s +0.131s 4. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 49.999s +0.180s 5. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 50.085s +0.266s 6. Joey Logano Penske Ford 50.111s +0.292s 7. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 50.130s +0.311s 8. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 50.187s +0.368s 9. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 50.239s +0.420s 10. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 50.253s +0.434s 11. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 50.297s +0.478s 12. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.322s +0.503s 13. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet 50.373s +0.554s 14. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 50.418s +0.599s 15. AJ Allmendinger Phoenix Chevrolet 50.420s +0.601s 16. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota 50.446s +0.627s 17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford 50.487s +0.668s 18. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 50.488s +0.669s 19. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 50.546s +0.727s 20. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 50.553s +0.734s 21. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet 50.567s +0.748s 22. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 50.659s +0.840s 23. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 50.678s +0.859s 24. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 50.702s +0.883s 25. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 50.721s +0.902s 26. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 50.779s +0.960s 27. Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 50.784s +0.965s 28. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 50.850s +1.031s 29. Casey Mears Germain Ford 50.864s +1.045s 30. David Ragan Front Row Ford 50.894s +1.075s 31. David Stremme Swan Toyota 50.899s +1.080s 32. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 51.059s +1.240s 33. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota 51.108s +1.289s 34. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 51.177s +1.358s 35. David Reutimann BK Toyota 51.211s +1.392s 36. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 51.376s +1.557s 37. David Gilliland Front Row Ford 51.415s +1.596s 38. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 51.462s +1.643s 39. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 51.696s +1.877s 40. Josh Wise Front Row Ford 51.815s +1.996s 41. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford 52.305s +2.486s 42. Alex Kennedy Humphrey Smith Toyota 53.286s +3.467s 43. Tony Raines Circle Sport Chevrolet 53.960s +4.141s