CUP: Johnson Wins Chicagoland Pole

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Jimmie Johnson will start the Chase on top.

Johnson won the pole Saturday for Sunday’s GEICO 400 Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway and will begin his search for a sixth series championship from the No. 1 perch.

Johnson ran a fast lap of 182.864 miles per hour.

Following Johnson in the top five were Aric Almirola, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards.

In the second five were Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano.

Johnson has won five Sprint Cup championships – all in the Chase era.

The 12 Chase drivers had a wildly diverse qualifying session. Those who had speeds outside the top 10 – Tony Stewart 29th, Greg Biffle 22nd, Brad Keselowski 13th, Kevin Harvick 35th, Martin Truex Jr. 18th and Jeff Gordon 19th.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.