Three rounds of qualifying Friday set the field for Sunday's New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson took the pole, posting a top time of 28.430 seconds and hitting a top speed of 133.971 mph.
NASCAR showed his lap:
Here are the full qualifying results, race order and times:
|New Hampshire 301 Qualifying Results|
|Place||Driver||Best Time (Seconds)|
|3||Martin Truex Jr.||28.558|
|22||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||28.925|
According to NASCAR on NBCSN, Friday was the first time in his storied career that Johnson has won the pole for a Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which presents a different kind of challenge to NASCAR drivers.
The turns at the narrow 1.6-mile track are not as severely banked as other tracks in the country. That means drivers have to spend more time on the brakes instead of maintaining higher speeds around the turns.
A happy Johnson spoke with the NBCSN telecast after securing the pole (via Jerry Bonkowski of NBC Sports).
"We’ve had a lot of tough races (of late). Qualifying has been so-so," he said. "I’m not the best in qualifying. I think the majority of that emotion was that we actually got a pole. This is a good day all in all and something this Lowe’s team needed after a tough couple of months."
Sunday's race will be without Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
His replacement, Alex Bowman, who qualified in the 20th spot, spoke with the Associated Press after his day on the track.
"It's definitely not the circumstances that I want to get an opportunity like this," he said. "Obviously, I'm hoping Dale feels better, but at the same time it's the best opportunity I've ever had in my life. I'm ready to just plug into their program and do my job. I'll give them the best feedback I can and go from there."
Carl Edwards, who finished in second place last week at Kentucky, will start in 13th, as he narrowly missed the second cut before the final round of qualifying. Edwards posted a time of 28.676 seconds, while Martin Truex Jr. was just 0.001 seconds faster, thus moving on to the final round.
Truex will start in third place Sunday after finishing 0.128 seconds behind Johnson.
Heading into New Hampshire's race weekend, Brad Keselowski has been the most unstoppable driver in NASCAR, coming off two straight wins.
On Friday, the points leader slowed down a bit, as he finished ninth in qualifying. However, another win Sunday would further expand his lead atop the standings.
With a 40-car field on a narrow track that requires methodical racing, the New Hampshire 301 could see a packed race, especially on the turns, where pinpoint placement will be a must in order for drivers to stay on the course.
Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com.