Jimmie Johnson will lead the field to the green flag Sunday for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet scored his first pole in 58 races with a new track record time of 25.147 and a speed of 143.158 mph.
Johnson spoke about the gains his team has made in recent weeks, stating that his team “didn’t have the summer that we wanted, but these guys have been working so hard on the No. 48 team and at Hendrick Motorsports. So, I’m very happy to see the progress and the direction things are going. It’s been a little bit, everywhere. If we keep doing that, we’re going to close this season out just like we want to and be ready for 2016.”
Kurt Busch and his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will join Johnson on the front row with a time of 25.196 and a speed of 142.880 mph.
Busch was somewhat disappointed with the runner-up starting position saying he felt that he “let the team down a little on that lap because our car is better than that. But starting up front here is a big advantage and we’ll work on the car a little tomorrow to fine tune and be ready to go out and race on Sunday and hope for a win.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in third after a time of 25.249 and a speed of 142.580 mph. Carl Edwards’ 142.501 mph lap in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota earned him a fourth place start and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet with a time of 25.300 and a speed of 142.292 mph.
Kyle Larson will start his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in sixth while Erik Jones, filling in for the suspended Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 JGR Toyota, will begin the race in seventh place. Kevin Harvick, who has won the last four consecutive races at Phoenix, qualified in the eighth position with his SHR No. 4 Chevrolet. Kasey Kahne will start his No. 5 HMS Chevrolet in ninth and Kyle Busch rounds out the top-10 in his No. 18 JGR Toyota.
Of the remaining Chase-eligible drivers, Jeff Gordon will start in 11th, Joey Logano in 14th and Brad Keselowski, who qualified in 18th, will be the lowest starting Chase driver.
Forty-three cars were entered, so nobody was sent home.
Complete Starting Lineup:
|3||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Chevrolet||142.58|
|5||78||Martin Truex, Jr.||Chevrolet||142.292|
|19||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Ford||140.944|
|28||9||Sam Hornish, Jr.||Ford||139.114|