It was only the second pole victory of the season for Johnson, but his second in three weeks. He drove a lap around the track known as the "Monster Mile" in 23.261 seconds.
Johnson will go into this week's race trailing only Jeff Gordon in the points chase.
Gordon qualified 27th. Tony Stewart, third in points, was 28th quickest on Friday.
Clint Bowyer, who won the first "chase" race last week -- and thus vaulted from 12th to fourth in the standings -- will start 42nd after a poor qualifying run.