Persistent rain in the morning at Dover has forced the cancellation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying, handing reigning champion Jimmie Johnson pole position.
Based on the new procedures set by NASCAR for this season when qualifying gets canceled, the starting order of Sunday's race has been determined by each driver's best lap from practice.
On Friday, two sessions took place and Johnson, a six-time winner at Dover, set the fastest time in the first one while completing a qualifying-style run that has eventually placed him on pole for the fifth time in his Cup career at the track known as the "Monster Mile", ahead of AJ Allmendinger.
"Well this new system definitely requires some thinking beforehand coming into the race weekend and paying close attention to the weather," said Johnson. "We elected to start in race trim yesterday and the first run on track was really strong. I think it had us third at the time and ended up being fifth overall with guys in qualifying trim. So, when we saw that speed and the threat of weather, we at that point switched into qualifying trim and worked really hard to outrun [Allmendinger]. He put up a huge lap time. It took me two or three tries to finally get it."
Richard Petty Motorsports' Allmendinger will start beside the Hendrick driver on the front row of the grid, having been fastest in the first practice session, while Johnson's teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., Red Bull's Kasey Kahne and Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano rounded out the top-five with their best from the same first session.
Penske's Kurt Busch, fastest in the final practice, will start sixth ahead of his brother Kyle, who won Friday's Truck Series race. Michael Waltrip Racing's Martin Truex Jr. will see the green flag wave from eighth, while the second Penske Dodge of Keselowski and Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick will start from row five.
Points leader Carl Edwards, fourth in the final practice, will be 13th on the grid, while Scott Riggs failed to get in the field.
Nationwide Series qualifying was also canceled, placing Edwards on pole position based on practice times as well. Sunday's forecasts show a 50 percent chance of consistent rain through the afternoon.
Pos Driver Team/Car
1. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet
2. AJ Allmendinger Petty Ford
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet
4. Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
5. Joey Logano Gibbs Toyota
6. Kurt Busch Penske Dodge
7. Kyle Busch Gibbs Toyota
8. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota
9. Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge
10. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet
11. Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet
12. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford
13. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford
14. David Ragan Roush Fenway Ford
15. Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
16. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet
17. David Reutimann Waltrip Toyota
18. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford
19. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet
20. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet
21. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet
22. Clint Bowyer Childress Chevrolet
23. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota
24. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford
25. Mark Martin Hendrick Chevrolet
26. Denny Hamlin Gibbs Toyota
27. Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Chevrolet
28. Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Chevrolet
29. David Gilliland Front Row Ford
30. Casey Mears Germain Toyota
31. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet
32. Landon Cassill Phoenix Chevrolet
33. Mike Bliss FAS Lane Ford
34. Scott Wimmer Gordon Dodge
35. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet
36. Michael McDowell HP Toyota
37. Andy Lally TRG Chevrolet
38. JJ Yeley Whitney Chevrolet
39. Mike Skinner Germain Toyota
40. David Stremme Inception Chevrolet
41. Travis Kvapil Front Row Ford
42. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota
43. Tony Raines Front Row Ford
Did not qualify:
Scott Riggs Whitney Chevrolet