One of the most vivid memories of Jimmie Johnson at Watkins Glen was slamming violently into the wall while driving in the Nationwide Series for Herzog Motorsports. While the clips are slowly fading into history, his latest accomplishment of sitting on the pole this week becomes the most talked about "Johnson at The Glen" story.
Johnson captured the first road-course pole of his career in qualifying Friday, turning a lap at 123.633 mph in 71.34 seconds over the 11-turn, 2.45-mile circuit to edge Las Vegan Kurt Busch for the top spot for Sunday.
“It’s going to be nice to have a good view from the front,” said Johnson, who has never won a Cup road race. “It’s going to boil down to track position and the pit stops, so hopefully we can stay up there.”
Busch, who won the pole here three years ago, finished just 0.01 second behind Johnson. Denny Hamlin, fresh from an emotional victory at Pocono on Monday, qualified third. Marcos Ambrose of Tasmania was fourth, followed by David Stremme. Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Boris Said, and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top 10.