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Rain Puts Jimmie On Pole

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, June 7 2013

Jimmie Johnson will start P1 at Pocono on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Sprint Cup qualifying and practice were rained out at Pocono raceway on Friday, and that puts Jimmie Johnson on the pole for Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400.

Johnson, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leader, will bring the field to the green flag with second-place Carl Edwards beside him on the front row. With the starting order set by the rule book, the top cars in owner points will be at the front of the field at the outset.

Only 43 cars are entered for Sunday’s race, so no cars are eliminated from competition by the rainout.

Clint Bowyer will start third beside fourth-place Matt Kenseth, followed by Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and reigning Spring Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Twenty of the last 30 Pocono winners have started from positions one through six, with eight of those starting on the pole.

“There are a lot of good benefits from starting on the pole, from track position to pit road picks,” Johnson said. “We’ll take it. The great season that we’ve had so far and the quick start, it’s nice to have that.

“It’s one of the benefits (as the point leader) when things rain out. So we certainly earned this first starting spot, and we’ll try to take advantage of it on Sunday.”

Four-time Pocono winner Denny Hamlin, who missed four races with a compression fracture of his first lumbar vertebra, will start 17th, the No. 11 Toyota’s position in owner points. Hamlin himself is 26th in the drivers’ standings, hoping to regain the top 20 and consequent eligibility for a wild card spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

With Saturday’s forecast also in question, and practice time in danger of being curtailed, teams may have to rely on computer simulations to determine the setups with which they’ll start the race.

Starting grid for Sunday’s race

1. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 1st.

2. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 2nd.

3. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 3rd.

4. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 4th.

5. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 5th.

6. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 6th.

7. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 7th.

8. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 8th.

9. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 9th.

10. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 10th.

11. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 11th.

12. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 12th.

13. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 13th.

14. (55) Mark Martin, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 14th.

15. (56) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 2013 Owner Points -15th.

16. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 2013 Owner Points -16th.

17. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 17th.

18. (51) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 18th.

19. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points -19th.

20. (78) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 20th.

21. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 21st.

22. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 22nd.

23. (39) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points -23rd.

24. (31) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 24th.

25. (42) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 25th.

26. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 26th.

27. (13) Casey Mears, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 27th.

28. (34) David Ragan, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 28th.

29. (47) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 29th.

30. (10) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 30th.

31. (38) David Gilliland, Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 31st.

32. (7) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 32nd.

33. (30) David Stremme, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 33rd.

34. (83) David Reutimann, Toyota, 2013 Owner Points – 34th.

35. (36) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 2013 Owner Points – 35th.

36. (35) Josh Wise(i), Ford, 2013 Owner Points – 36th.

37. (33) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 13 Owner Attempts – 37th.

38. (32) Timmy Hill #, Ford, 13 Owner Attempts – 38th.

39. (93) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 13 Owner Attempts – 39th.

40. (87) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 13 Owner Attempts – 40th.

41. (98) Michael McDowell, Ford, 12 Owner Attempts – 42nd.

42. (19) Jason Leffler, Toyota, 12 Owner Attempts – 44th.

43. (44) Scott Riggs, Ford, 6 Owner Attempts – 46th.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Friday, June 7 2013
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