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NASCAR At Chicago Qualifying: Jimmie Johnson Wins Geico 400 Pole

Five-time Sprint Cup Jimmie Johnson has fired the first shot of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The Hendrick Motorsports driver toured the Chicagoland Speedway in 29.53 seconds to claim the pole for Sunday's playoff-opening Geico 400.

Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola, driving The King's iconic No. 43, will start from outside the front row as he looks to spoil the Chasers party.

Chasers Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start third and fourth, while Carl Edwards rolls off fifth in his first race since officially being eliminated from a chance to make up for the title he lost a year ago.

Kasey Kahne will begin his title bid from the sixth spot, while Regan Smith will start seventh. Pre-Chase favorite Denny Hamlin rolls off eighth, next to fellow title hopeful Clint Bowyer. Joey Logano has position number 10, matching the number of races he has left in the Home Depot-sponsored Toyota.

As far as the other title contenders go, Brad Keselowski led the way in 13th place. Martin Truex Jr., who led practice, qualified 18th as he looks to finally break a five-year winless streak that he's come heartbreakingly close to ending twice already this year.

Jeff Gordon, perhaps as elated last Saturday when he qualified for the Chase as he has been after most of his 86 race wins and four championships, will start 19th as he starts the 11th edition of his "Drive for Five."

Greg Biffle, who led the regular season points, was 22nd in Jack Roush's Ford, with defending champ Tony Stewart (29th) and Kevin Harvick (35th) rounding out the Chase field.

David Ragan of Unadilla was 37th in his No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson was one of four drivers failing to qualify, along with Scott Riggs, J.J. Yeley, and Jason Leffler.

Full qualifying results can be found at NASCAR.com, but instead of sending you on a scavenger hunt, you can just click here.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.