Vickers Charges To Pole

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BROOKLYN, Mich. - Brian Vickers continued his impressive 2008 season on Friday.

Vickers piloted his Team Ted Bull Toyota to the top spot for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 3M Performance 300 at Michigan International Speedway.

The No. 83 Camry rocketed around the two-mile oval at a speed of 188.536 mph and Vickers earned his fifth career series pole and the first for Team Red Bull.

"It was there from the first lap, the first turn,” Vickers said.

“We tried some things during practice that didn’t work at all,” he added. “So we went back to where we were and I think that’s one of the best qualifying cars I’ve ever had. It was a heck of a lap.

“Sometimes you just hit it. You don’t know why.”

Jimmie Johnson qualified outside the front row with a lap of 187.028 mph in the Lowe's Chevrolet.

"We picked up speed from practice, but I just knew in the car it wasn’t the fastest lap,” Johnson said. “And I think, for that team and Brian, this has been a track that fits their style. He’ll be ever more of a threat come race time.”

Elliott Sadler, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five.

Patrick Carpentier, David Reutimann, Regan Smith, Greg Biffle and Scott Riggs completed the first ten qualifiers.

Ryan Newman qualified 20th in the Alltel Dodge, but will have to start at the rear of the field after the team changed an engine in the first practice.

“Obviously, I wish we had the primary engine in there but it was a great effort by the guys to change the engine and get me back out on the track prior to qualifying for a couple of laps," Newman said. "We have two practices to get the Alltel Dodge right tomorrow, so hopefully we will have a good package that will help us to come through the field on Sunday.”

Johnny Sauter was the lone driver failing to make Sunday's field.

Sunday's 3M Performance 400 will take the green flag at 2 p.m. (ET).

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