Saturday, September 18, 2021

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Jimmie Johnson scores Coca Cola 600 pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway

While everybody is focused on when Jimmie Johnson will score his first victory of the season to attempt to lock himself in the 2014 Chase for the Championship, Johnson is showing speed on the track as he won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The lap of 27.705 seconds, 194.911 mph gives six-time his 33rd career pole award.

“We’ve watched other cars get faster through qualifying sessions,’’ Johnson said. “That’s something the (Hendrick Motorsports) cars really haven’t had a lot. We did that tonight. We’re hitting on some things that should help us run faster longer.’’

As the critics continue to express their comments about the zero in the win-column, Johnson’s confidence remains high in his race team.

“We don’t care what anybody says about this race team, we know what we’re capable of,” Johnson said. “We knew we had a great race car today and wanted to take advantage of it. We executed and we did our jobs.

“Qualifying days usually aren’t our best, but when we qualify well, we know we’re going to race well, so I’m real optimistic about Sunday. I look forward to giving it a good run Sunday night.”

Brad Keselowski would qualify second for his seventh front row start of the season.

“We’ve qualified second a lot this year,” Keselowski said. “Doggone it, it’s like kissing your sister. We’re running where we want to run up front, we just have to get a little better finishes.”

Kasey Kahne qualified third for his fourth top-10 start of the season while Danica Patrick surprised everyone with a fourth place qualifying effort. Clint Bowyer would round out the top-five.

“Great day, great starting spot … let’s hope we can do more of what we did at Kansas,’’ Patrick said.

Denny Hamlin qualified sixth, followed by Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 12 after failing to post a time in the final five-minute session. Both drivers both failed to cross the start-finish line and start their lap before the clock ran out as they tried to wait it out as long as possible.

“I’m surprised,’’ Kahne said of Harvick and Kenseth. “That would not go over well if we missed it.’’

Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, apologized on Twitter for the mistake.

 

All-Star Race winner Jamie McMurray will start 26th, with points leader Jeff Gordon starting 27th. Gordon spoke after that he was disappointed in his qualifying effort and the lack of speed that he had compared to his Hendrick Motorsports teammmates.

Unfortunately, Dave Blaney and J.J. Yeley would both miss the show.

 

Starting Lineup
Charlotte Motor Speedway
55th Annual Coca-Cola 600

Pos Driver Team Time Speed #
1 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet 27.705 194.911 48
2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 27.754 194.567 2
3 Kasey Kahne FrmrsInsrnce Chev 27.890 193.618 5
4 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 27.931 193.334 10
5 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour ENERGY Toyota 27.944 193.244 15
6 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 27.962 193.119 11
7 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 27.966 193.092 18
8 Joey Logano Pennzoil Platinum Ford 28.056 192.472 22
9 Marcos Ambrose Twisted Tea Ford 28.173 191.673 9
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard/Superman Chevrolet 28.232 191.272 88
11 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet 27.841 193.959 4
12 Matt Kenseth Home Depot Husky Toyota 27.994 192.898 20
13 Aric Almirola United States Air Force Ford 28.024 192.692 43
14 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 28.054 192.486 21
15 Martin Truex Furniture Row Chevrolet 28.061 192.438 78
16 Brian Vickers Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 28.121 192.027 55
17 Justin Allgaier # Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet 28.133 191.945 51
18 Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 28.136 191.925 14
19 Brian Scott(i) Shore Lodge Chevrolet 28.142 191.884 33
20 AJ Allmendinger Bush’s Beans Chevrolet 28.150 191.829 47
21 Paul Menard Serta/Menards Chevrolet 28.168 191.707 27
22 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 28.424 189.980 99
23 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 28.540 189.208 17
24 Greg Biffle Fastenal Ford 29.293 184.344 16
25 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 28.296 190.840 42
26 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 28.383 190.255 1
27 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 28.470 189.673 24
28 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 28.488 189.553 41
29 Alex Bowman # Dr.Pepper Toyota 28.494 189.514 23
30 Michael McDowell JPO Absorbents Ford 28.549 189.148 95
31 Cole Whitt # Speed Stick Toyota 28.554 189.115 26
32 Austin Dillon # Cheerios Chevrolet 28.562 189.062 3
33 David Gilliland Love’s Travel Stops Ford 28.612 188.732 38
34 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 28.642 188.534 13
35 David Ragan Taco Bell Ford 28.654 188.455 34
36 Ryan Truex # Burger King Toyota 28.659 188.422 83
37 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet OP 188.258 98
38 Joe Nemechek(i) Testoril Toyota OP 187.963 66
39 Michael Annett # Pilot Flying J Chevrolet OP 187.806 7
40 Landon Cassill(i) Hillman Racing Chevrolet OP 187.559 40
41 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet OP 187.207 36
42 Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet OP 186.890 31
43 Blake Koch(i) Supportmilitary.org Ford OP 185.931 32

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