As soon as Jimmie Johnson jumped to the provisional pole after his qualifying run, the feeling of inevitability that Johnson would start P1 started creeping in.
It got stronger with every passing qualifier as Kurt Busch, the fastest driver in Saturday morning's practice and Carl Edwards, among others, weren't able to knock Johnson, last year's dominating race winner, off the top spot.
It ultimately left Ryan Newman, the last driver to attempt to qualify, as the only driver with a shot to beat Johnson. And he did it. Newman's lap of 47.992 seconds was .o24 better than Johnson's and the Stewart-Haas Racing driver will start first for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It's the 50th pole of Newman's career and his first at Indianapolis -- which is close to the Purdue graduate's hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Newman is a free agent this season, after it was announced that he was not returning to Stewart-Haas after Kevin Harvick's arrival from Richard Childress Racing.
Johnson will start second and Edwards will start third. Denny Hamlin and Newman's teammate and owner Tony Stewart round out the top five. Scott Speed and Mike Bliss failed to qualify.
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