Johnson Grabs Daytona 500 Pole

Michael Waltrip, looking to rebound from tough '07, starts up front as well
By Mike Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2008 4:57 AM CST
Johnson Grabs Daytona 500 Pole
The crew of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson moves his car off the speedway after he qualified for the pole position in the Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008. Johnson qualified with a speed of 187.075mph. (AP Photo/John Raoux)   (Associated Press)

Jimmie Johnson's quest for a third straight Sprint Cup points title will begin from the pole position at next week's Super Bowl of NASCAR, after he finished first in yesterday's qualifier for the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, whose Toyota team was caught cheating during the qualifying session last year, will sit in the other first-row position, reports AP.

"I'm still very emotional but for obviously very drastically different reasons," said two-time 500 winner Waltrip. The remainder of the starting field will be determined in two qualifying races on Thursday. Expectations are high for Hendrick Motorsports, which already had Johnson and past points winner Jeff Gordon, and this season added Dale Earnhardt Jr., winner of the Bud shootout. (More racing stories.)

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