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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, qualified 17th for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Johnson turned a lap of 50.321 seconds at 190.298 mph on the 2.66-mile oval.
“We had a pretty conservative setup in the car,” said Johnson, who has one Sprint Cup win at Talladega (April 2011). “We did go out early and were hoping we’d run a little quicker, but we really didn’t want to take a lot of risk in qualifying. You want to make sure your car is going to have the right cooling and handling during the race. While it wasn’t quite what we expected, the Lowe’s Chevy should be fine where we’re starting.”
Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kasey Kahne, captured his 25th career Sprint Cup pole, his third of the season and his first at Talladega by posting a lap of 50.017 seconds at 191.455 mph.
Fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., qualified sixth and 12th, respectively. Gordon posted a time of 50.176 seconds at 190.848 mph, while Earnhardt clocked in at 50.287 seconds at 190.427 mph.
Ryan Newman will start on the outside of row one as he timed in at 50.098 seconds at 191.145 mph. Clint Bowyer was third (50.105 seconds at 191.119 mph), while Tony Stewart (50.138 seconds at 190.993 mph) and Greg Biffle (50.148 seconds at 190.955 mph) rounded out the top five.
Forty-three drivers attempted to qualify for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, and with the field set at 43 cars, every driver qualified.
As far as manufacturers went, Chevrolet took the top spot via Kahne’s pole run. Toyota was next best at the hands of Bowyer. Ford was the third-fastest make thanks to Biffle, while 10th-quick Sam Hornish Jr. (50.234 seconds at 190.628 mph) carried the flag for Dodge.
The Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 gets underway at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.