DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Two-time defending points champion Jimmie Johnson Sunday claimed the pole position for next week's 50th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona Beach.
With a best lap of 187.075 miles per hour, Johnson has a chance to be the first NASCAR driver since Dale Jarrett in 2000 to win the historic auto race from the pole.
"Today it didn't have a lot to do with the driver," he told a cluster of reporters after driving his No. 48 Chevrolet to his second at Daytona and 14th of his Sprint Cup career. "My guys really put the speed in that car and I can't thank them enough."
Michael Waltrip (186.734 miles per hour) will join Johnson on the front row.
The rest of the starting grid will be filled out Thursday when positions 3-39 are determined from two 150-mile races.