Jimmie Johnson will go for the Dover sweep from the pole.
Johnson turned a lap of 157.356 mph on Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and will start first for only the second time this season. He led a career-high 298 laps in May to win at the Monster Mile.
“A pole today will make the start of the weekend much better and give us a lot of direction and momentum moving into (Sunday),” Johnson said. “It does carry you, and there is an aspect of momentum. But at the same time, you’ve got to go out and perform.”
The top four qualifying spots for Sunday’s race all went to Chase for the championship drivers. Juan Pablo Montoya was second, Ryan Newman third and Greg Biffle fourth.
The remainder of the Chase drivers were scattered among the field.
Kasey Kahne was sixth and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon seventh. Brian Vickers was 12th and Denny Hamlin 13th.
Points leader Mark Martin qualified 14th and Kurt Busch was 16th.
Danica Patrick has agreed to a three-year contract to remain at Andretti Green Racing and stay in the IndyCar Series, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star.
Patrick, the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in last year’s Indy Japan, is finishing her fifth season in the IndyCar series and is fifth in points. She has been rumored to be considering a move to NASCAR and still could compete in a limited number of races on that circuit.
Patrick’s agent, Alan Zucker, did not return calls from the Associated Press.
The IndyCar Series season finale is Oct. 10 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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