Jimmie Johnson took the pole-position for the Coca-Cola 600, while Danica Patrick continued to impress in qualifying Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Still looking for his first victory of 2014, Johnson sped to the No. 1 spot with a speed of 194.911 mph. The defending Sprint Cup champion hasn't won in 13 races -- dating back to November 2013 -- and has been dogged recently about his inability to reach the winner's circle.
"I learned a long time ago to not pay attention to the outside voices and influences and just worry about my race team," Johnson said. "We've been good and had a chance to win at a few tracks. And then at some our bad tracks, we went in there and ran terrible. I'll be the first to admit it.
"This is a good track for us. Next week is a good track for us and we need to capitalize on those opportunities and get some wins."
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Since 1998 Johnson is the only driver to win from the pole at Charlotte. He owns six Sprint Cup victories on the 1.5-mile track overall, but none since 2009.
Rounding out the top five were Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick and Clint Bowyer. The fourth-place effort marks the third consecutive race Patrick has qualified in the top 10. Thursday's result comes after a career-best seventh-place finish in the last points race two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway.
Patrick was fastest in the second of three rounds Thursday.
"We have a lot to be proud of," Patrick said. "I mean let's face it this is the part of the weekend that I dreaded every time. I had to train myself to not say I hate qualifying. We were third in a round, we were first in a round and we were fourth in a round."
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch qualified sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Despite advancing to the final segment of time trials, neither Kevin Harvick nor Matt Kenseth completed a lap. Both were holding off until the final seconds to record a lap time, but waited too long on pit road and were unable to get a speed in.
J.J. Yeley and Dave Blaney failed to qualify.
Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup
|10||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Chevrolet||191.272|
|11||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||No 3rd round speed|
|12||Matt Kenseth||Toyota||No 3rd round speed|
|15||Martin Truex, Jr.||Chevrolet||192.438|
|23||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||Ford||189.208|