Mac Tonight In Chicago

JOLIET, Ill. - Jamie McMurray gave his sponsor, McDonalds, the pole in the backyard of their headquarters after he took the top spot in qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

McMurray used the same car he drove to the pole at Darlington to take the number one spot on Friday evening with a fast lap of 183.542 mph.

"It's really special for us because this is the home of McDonald's and to get to be on the pole at your sponsor's hometown track is a big deal," said McMurray, who scored his sixth career pole and third in 2010. "It's really amazing that our qualifying this year; we've been really strong and Bono just does a great job at putting a little extra effort into that and doing all the small things right. So I'm really happy with our lap today."

Jimmie Johnson, who leads all drivers with an 8.1 average finish at Chicago, qualified second for his eighth top-10 start in nine races at 1.5-mile speedway.

"We are real happy with race trim and thought we would have a good shot at the pole and came close, just a few hundredths off the time that the No. 1 (Jamie McMurray) ran," Johnson said. "Left a little on the table in turn one, the car was a little uncomfortable down there but nailed three and four and had a good lap with this Lowe’s Impala.”

It's been a special week for Johnson after becoming a father on Wednesday, and with the switch to a two-day show in Chicago it gives Johnson a little more time to spend with his wife and new daughter.

"I flew up (to Chicago) this morning. And tonight I'll go home and relieve Channi's mom and let her go get cleaned up and get an overnight bag." Johnson said. "I'll go back home sometime tonight and crash out and get some sleep so that I have plenty of energy for tomorrow.

"And I'll get back to the hospital sometime in the morning and spend some time with everybody before I fly back up (to the race track). We're very fortunate that the schedule is a night race and there's a lot of flexibility to go to and from and allow me to get home each night."

Two-time Chicago winner Tony Stewart qualified third with Greg Biffle and Sam Hornish Jr. rounding out the top five.

Defending race winner Mark Martin will start 21st.

Saturday night's race will begin on MRN Radio starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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