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Johnson Nabs Pole Position at Chicagoland

JOLIET, Ill. (July 8, 2005) – Current NEXTEL Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson posted the quickest lap in Friday’s Chicagoland Speedway qualifying session, giving Team Lowe’s Racing the pole position for Sunday’s 400-mile event.

Johnson sped to a new track record of 28.701 seconds (188.147 mph) in his No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet to pick up his eighth career pole.  Ryan Newman was second and Casey Mears third.

Sunday will mark the second time Johnson has started first this season.  He also led the field to the green flag in June at Dover, Del., after the lineup was set by owner points.

Driving a No. 25 GMAC/ditech.com Chevy, Brian Vickers earned the fifth spot on the grid with an effort of 28.827 seconds (187.324 mph).  He will be making his second career NEXTEL Cup start at Chicagoland.

Four-time champion Jeff Gordon will start 14th in his No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo, with Kyle Busch 24th in a No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevy.  Terry Labonte qualified his No. 44 Pizza Hut Chevrolet in the 34th position.

Sunday’s event is slated for broadcast on NBC and MRN Radio.  Live television coverage will begin at 3 p.m. ET.

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