Friday, August 20, 2010

Johnson Bottles Up the White Lightning Qualifying at Bristol

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images

In preparations for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Friday qualifying saw Jimmie Johnson delivered fastest time with a winning run of 15.540 seconds to eclipse Carl Edward's Ford for the Irwin Tools Night Race. With Johnson taking his 2nd pole of 2010 in the #48 Lowes Chevy, the Hendrick Motorsports driver returns to the track where is he rolled to victory in the spring. As Johnson and Edwards rule the front row, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart ran qualifying efforts tight with each other's time to occupy the second row.

Through the early part of the session several top teams encountered difficulty mounting a significant timed run. Including the #24 Hendrick Motorsports effort of Jeff Gordon who spun during this qualifying run. Another slow effort resulted from the championship point-leading effort of #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick, both cars will start in the high-20s for Saturday's night race. Later qualifying order draws for Jimmie Johnson as well as Carl Edwards apparently could have contributed to their pace-setting runs.

The most antipicated race heading into the final Chase eligibility race at Richmond International Raceway, the short track of Bristol fast speeds within close quarters leaves many drivers and teams on edge. Because of Bristol Motor Speedway's short 0.533 mile distance, under 16 second lap times mean the margin of error would be incredibly narrow. A cut tire or a slow race stint will cost a team several laps to the lead pack. With positions counting for evermore valuable points, one miscue by a Chase contending team could throw a giant Monkey wrench into their 2010 chances for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup
Irwin Tools Night Race
Qualifying Order


1) 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet
2) 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford
3) 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota
4) 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot / Old Spice Chevrolet
5) 00 David Reutimann Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
6) 39 Ryan Newman Wix Filters Chevrolet
7) 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet
8) 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
9) 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
10) 43 A J Allmendinger Valvoline Ford

Other Notables

11) 9 Kasey Kahne Budweiser Ford
13) 5 Mark Martin CARQUEST Auto Parts Chevrolet
14) 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford
16) 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
17) 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota
19) 18 Kyle Busch Doublemint Toyota
20) 2 Kurt Busch Miller Lite / Vortex Dodge
26) 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet
27) 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy / National Guard Chevrolet
28) 29 Kevin Harvick Shell / Pennzoil Chevrolet

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