Jimmie Johnson grabs pole at Phoenix with record lap

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet, and Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz pose with the pole award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13:  (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet, and Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz pose with the pole award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 13: (L-R) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevrolet, and Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz pose with the pole award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Jimmie Johnson may not be in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but that doesn’t mean he is sitting quietly on the sidelines.  Nearly a week after a stunning move to win at Texas, Johnson snagged his first pole of the season Friday  with a record setting lap and will lead the field to the green for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

The six-time champion put down a lap of 143.158 breaking the track record of 142.113 mph set last year by Denny Hamlin, with less than two minutes to go in the final five minutes of the three rounds of knockout qualifying.

“We didn’t have the summer that we wanted, but these guys have been working so hard on the No. 48 team and at Hendrick Motorsports,” Johnson said. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.