Johnson Breaks NASCAR Record in Charlotte Qualifying

Jimmie Johnson seems to have really gotten up to speed in the 2009 Chase, as the Hendrick Motorsports driver today topped the qualifying practice of the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Known to be a true specialists on the Northern Carolina track, Johnson was the only driver in the Sprint Cup field to cross the 192 mph speed limit on Friday.

By doing so, Johnson recorded the fastest ever performance of a Sprint Cup machinery in terms of qualifying average. His 192.486 mph average lifted him only 0.082 seconds above main title rival this year Mark Martin, who had to settle for the runner-up spot.

The qualifying at Lowe Motor Speedway started later than initially scheduled because of the weather conditions. Rain made its way to Charlotte from the early hours of the morning and affected the on-track activities all day long. Despite the cold weather, Johnson got up to speed immediately and made no compromises on top of the timing reports.

What a lap. The speeds that we're running around here in this car are pretty amazing. It was just a great lap. We were great off the truck and were able to fine-tune a little bit and lay down another good one in qualifying,” said the 5-time winner on the Charlotte-based track.

The second row on Saturday will be completed by Kasey Kahne, who was the fastest of the Sprint Cup pack before Jimmie Johnson stepped in and did his laps. He eventually had to settle for 3rd place, ahead of Roush Fenway's Matt Kenseth.

Title contender Tony Stewart went on to finish 5th, ahead of Ryan Newman and Mike Bliss. The Top 10 was completed by Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.
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