NASCAR Phoenix starting lineup: Kyle Busch wins pole, Jimmie Johnson has lackluster qualifying run

Kyle Busch won the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with a new track record, but the biggest story was perhaps points leader Jimmie Johnson's mediocre qualifying lap.

Johnson, who came into the penultimate Chase race with a seven-point lead over Brad Keselowski, qualified a surprising 24th for the AdvoCare 500 on Friday – his worst start in a Chase race since the 2010 opener at New Hampshire. Johnson hadn't qualified so low this season since the August Bristol race.

Keselowski, meanwhile, qualified 14th after struggling with qualifying earlier in the Chase. Starting 10 spots ahead of Johnson means he'll be the "points as they run" leader when the green flag is waved on Sunday afternoon.

As for Busch, he used his position as the last car out to post the quickest lap of the day. Martin Truex Jr. was second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola. Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Tony Stewart and Mark Martin rounded out the top 10.

Clint Bowyer, who still has an outside shot at the championship, qualified 16th – in between Keselowski and Johnson.

JJ Yeley was the only car to miss the race.

Here is the starting lineup for Sunday's NASCAR race at Phoenix:

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Paul Menard
  8. Regan Smith
  9. Tony Stewart
  10. Mark Martin
  11. Jeff Gordon
  12. Ryan Newman
  13. Carl Edwards
  14. Brad Keselowski
  15. Joey Logano
  16. Clint Bowyer
  17. Marcos Ambrose
  18. Jamie McMurray
  19. Kevin Harvick
  20. Greg Biffle
  21. Juan Pablo Montoya
  22. Matt Kenseth
  23. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  24. Jimmie Johnson
  25. Casey Mears
  26. Sam Hornish Jr.
  27. Landon Cassill
  28. Michael McDowell
  29. David Ragan
  30. Bobby Labonte
  31. David Gilliland
  32. David Stremme
  33. Jeff Burton
  34. David Reutimann
  35. Stephen Leicht
  36. Mike Bliss
  37. Danica Patrick
  38. Josh Wise
  39. Travis Kvapil
  40. Jason Leffler
  41. Timmy Hill
  42. Dave Blaney
  43. Joe Nemechek
DNQ: JJ Yeley
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