Jimmie Johnson beat Juan Pablo Montoya to pole position for the second race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup at Dover International Speedway.
The reigning champion set a time of 22.878 seconds at an average speed of 157.356 mph on his first lap, beating Montoya's benchmark by 0.096s and claiming his 21st career pole and his second at Dover.
"That's one of the more intense laps I've had in a long time," said Hendrick driver Johnson, who had been fastest in practice and is hoping to sweep both of the year's Dover races.
"I'm glad it was fast. Sometimes you're that out of control and the car wasn't fast. But we've got a great racecar. I got after it and hopefully it would hold up, had to hold on to it the entire way around the lap. This car has simply been fast off the truck."
Montoya (Earnhardt Ganassi) maintained his strong qualifying performances in the Chase with his second consecutive front row start after claiming pole position a week ago at Loudon. The Colombian's effort was remarkable, given that he was the first car in the order to complete his run, when track conditions were not ideal.
"We had a pretty good lap," said Montoya. "I was surprised to run so close to what we ran in practice. When Jimmie ran those laps in practice I knew that unless he did a huge mistake we were not going to get that pole.
"The plan was to run two laps, being the first guy out you never know. But when I finished the first lap I knew there was no way I was going to get more out of the car. I didn't have anything else. Jimmie beat me through [Turns] 1 and 2."
Ryan Newman, a three-time winner at the track, qualified third, while Greg Biffle, winner a year ago at Dover, will share the second row of the grid with him. David Reutimann, who sat on pole position in the autumn race, rounded out the top five, while Kasey Kahne was sixth despite reverting to the old version of the Dodge engine.
Jeff Gordon, a four-time winner at Dover was seventh fastest, while his Hendrick team-mate and Chase leader Mark Martin was only 14th. Among the drivers in the title battle Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards was the worst in qualifying, ending up only 30th.
David Gilliland was the fastest of the non-guaranteed drivers in 18th, while Scott Wimmer was the only one who failed to qualify after setting the slowest time during the session.
Pos Driver Car Speed Time Gap 1. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 157.356 22.878s 2. Juan Montoya Chevrolet 156.699 22.974s + 0.096s 3. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 156.393 23.019s + 0.141s 4. Greg Biffle Ford 156.284 23.035s + 0.157s 5. David Reutimann Toyota 155.979 23.080s + 0.202s 6. Kasey Kahne Dodge 155.871 23.096s + 0.218s 7. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 155.777 23.110s + 0.232s 8. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 155.555 23.143s + 0.265s 9. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 155.494 23.152s + 0.274s10. Paul Menard Ford 155.434 23.161s + 0.283s11. Joey Logano Toyota 155.373 23.170s + 0.292s12. Brian Vickers Toyota 155.353 23.173s + 0.295s13. Denny Hamlin Toyota 155.193 23.197s + 0.319s14. Mark Martin Chevrolet 155.045 23.219s + 0.341s15. Kyle Busch Toyota 154.992 23.227s + 0.349s16. Kurt Busch Dodge 154.905 23.240s + 0.362s17. David Stremme Dodge 154.832 23.251s + 0.373s18. David Gilliland Chevrolet 154.639 23.280s + 0.402s19. AJ Allmendinger Dodge 154.633 23.281s + 0.403s20. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 154.606 23.285s + 0.407s21. David Ragan Ford 154.573 23.29 s + 0.412s22. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 154.533 23.296s + 0.418s23. Matt Kenseth Ford 154.480 23.304s + 0.426s24. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 154.407 23.315s + 0.437s25. Jamie McMurray Ford 154.288 23.333s + 0.455s26. Reed Sorenson Dodge 154.136 23.356s + 0.478s27. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 154.070 23.366s + 0.488s28. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 153.879 23.395s + 0.517s29. Casey Mears Chevrolet 153.807 23.406s + 0.528s30. Carl Edwards Ford 153.557 23.444s + 0.566s31. Robby Gordon Toyota 153.440 23.462s + 0.584s32. Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 153.387 23.470s + 0.592s33. Regan Smith Chevrolet 153.211 23.497s + 0.619s34. Elliott Sadler Dodge 153.107 23.513s + 0.635s35. Dave Blaney Toyota 153.074 23.518s + 0.640s36. Mike Bliss Dodge 153.029 23.525s + 0.647s37. John Andretti Chevrolet 152.938 23.539s + 0.661s38. Michael Waltrip Toyota 152.873 23.549s + 0.671s39. Scott Speed Toyota 152.620 23.588s + 0.710s40. Joe Nemechek Toyota 152.046 23.677s + 0.799s41. Bobby Labonte Ford 152.001 23.684s + 0.806s42. Tony Raines Dodge 151.547 23.755s + 0.877s43. Michael McDowell Toyota 151.388 23.780s + 0.902sDid not qualify: Scott Wimmer Chevrolet 149.247 24.121s + 1.243