McMurray turned a lap around the Chicagoland Speedway in 183.542 mph. It was his sixth career Sprint Cup pole. He has won more poles this year than any other driver on the circuit.
McMurray won the season-opening Daytona 500 in February, but has fallen to 19th place in the points race. There are eight races remaining before the top 12 drivers in the standings begin the chase for the championship.
Four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson qualified second, followed by Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Sam Hornish Jr.
Qualifying sixth through 10th were Jeff Gordon, David Reutimann, Martin Truex, Paul Menard and Juan Pablo Montoya. Points leader Kevin Harvick will start 27th.