NASCAR at Texas 2019 Qualifying Results: Jimmie Johnson Secures Pole Position

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2019

Jimmie Johnson (48) makes his way through Turn 4 during qualifying for the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Jimmie Johnson dominated qualifying Friday to capture the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

Johnson finished first in all three rounds of qualifying and beat out Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Chase Elliott by less than a tenth of a second for the pole.

Here are the full results of Friday's qualifying, courtesy of NASCAR.com (time in seconds):

1. Jimmie Johnson: 28.588

2. William Byron: 28.660

3. Chase Elliott: 28.682

4. Daniel Suarez: 28.741

5. Austin Dillon: 28.862

6. Denny Hamlin: 28.895

7. Daniel Hemric: 28.905

8. Joey Logano: 28.928

9. Ty Dillon: 28.956

10. Bubba Wallace: 28.990

11. Erik Jones: 29.071

12. Brad Keselowski: 29.412

13. Ryan Blaney: 28.927

14. Paul Menard: 28.937

15. Michael McDowell: 28.964

16. Kyle Busch28.971

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 28.971

18. Ryan Newman: 29.005

19. Chris Buescher: 29.016

20. Martin Truex Jr.: 29.161

21. Aric Almirola: 29.226

22. Kyle Larson: 29.226

23. Kevin Harvick: 30.135

24. Alex Bowman: 0.000

25. Clint Bowyer: 29.096

26. Matt DiBenedetto: 29.110

27. Ryan Preece: 29.164

28. David Ragan: 29.265

29. Matt Tifft: 29.265

30. Kurt Busch: 29.283

31. Corey Lajoie: 29.305

32. Landon Cassill: 29.429

33. Parker Kligerman: 29.549

34. B.J. McLeod: 29.844

35. Ross Chastain: 29.987

36. Bayley Currey: 30.235

37. Reed Sorenson: 30.513

38. Garrett Smithley: 30.530

39. Timmy Hill: 31.416

The pole marked Johnson's first of the 2019 season and the first for Hendrick since Byron captured the Daytona 500 pole. Johnson now has 36 career Cup Series poles, but Friday's was his first since 2016, which was the last year he won the points title.

After earning the pole in runaway fashion, Johnson talked about how it felt to be back up front:


#BuschPole No. 36 for @JimmieJohnson was a much-welcomed one. A sign of things to come for the 4️⃣8️⃣ and @TeamHendrick? https://t.co/Lthctc68K3

While Hendrick Motorsports had a banner day, Alex Bowman did not enjoy as much success as his teammates. He will start 24th due to a mishap at the start of the second round of qualifying.

As seen in the following video, Bowman hit the wall, which caused a delay and rendered him unable to continue:


Here's what happened to @AlexBowman88 coming off Turn 2 that has #BuschPole qualifying on hold. https://t.co/GkhQNxBcy9

Bowman wasn't the only notable driver to falter in the second round, as Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch all failed to make the final round.

Busch has fallen short of the final round of qualifying in consecutive weeks after winning the previous two Cup Series races.

While it wasn't a huge surprise to see Johnson fare well at a track he has long dominated, there were some surprises who managed to qualify inside the top 10. Chief among them are Daniel Hemric and Bubba Wallace, who are both outside the top 25 in points.

It isn't expected that they will vie for a win Sunday, but Johnson may have his best chance to take the checkered flag in a long time.

His average finish of 9.8 at Texas is second to only Elliott among active drivers, and his seven wins are four more than the next closest competitor—Kyle Busch.

Johnson has not won a race since 2017, but considering how good his car looked in qualifying and practice, he is undoubtedly among the top contenders entering the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500.