INDIANAPOLIS – Jimmie Johnson was back out front at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for at least an hour Saturday.
Then Ryan Newman knocked him down a peg.
The last driver to make a qualifying lap Saturday turned a lap at 187.531 mph to set a track record and claim the pole for Sunday's race.
It was the 50th pole of Newman's career, but first since late in the 2011 season.
Johnson's lap of 187.438 put the No. 48 on top of the scoring tower for most of the qualifying session. He waited out more than 30 drivers to see if his lap would hold, and it did until Newman's run.
Carl Edwards qualified third at 187.157 and was followed by Denny Hamlin and two-time Indy winner Tony Stewart.