Sweet Sixteen For Johnson
August 1, 2008 | 5:05 P.M. EST
Johnson turned a lap of 168.215 mph in his Lowe's Chevrolet to earn his third pole of the season.
"There’s been a lot of hard work at Hendrick Motorsports and I am glad to see it coming together,” Johnson said. “I am happy to be doing my part.”
"We really improved on things since last spring and where we are on the race car. I think we've gone in the right direction. There has been a lot of hard work throughout all of Hendrick Motorsports and it's nice to see it coming together. I'm glad I did my job and hit my marks. It's a very technical track, a lot like Indy, where it's easy to miss one of the corners. We got a great lap and feel really good about that."
Mark Martin will start outside the front row for the second straight week after a lap of 167.560 mph in the No. 8 Chevrolet.
"I want to give credit to ECR Engines, great horsepower under the hood," martin said. "This is a real tribute to Tony Gibson and everybody on this No. 8 team."
David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.
“It’s just a gradual improvement," said Gilliland of his strong run for Yates Racing. "This is the second track we’ve gone to for the second time. Daytona was the first one and we had an awesome race car there. We were really, really strong and ran very well and this is the same thing. We’ve got some notes to go back on. My crew chief, Cully Barraclough, it’s his first year in the Cup Series and I’m still learning too.
Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch completed the top 10 qualifiers.
Series point leader Kyle Busch qualified 27th.
"We just can't figure it out -- the car felt fine in qualifying," Busch said. "Not knowing how fast we had to drive it because we were pretty bad in practice compared to now and not getting the full effect of what the car really had in it."
Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 will take the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET).