Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed his sixth-career Sprint Cup pole Friday, nabbing the top spot for Sunday's Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California. The driver of the No. 42 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet toured the 2-mile oval in 38.99 seconds, for an average speed of 184.653 MPH.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were second and third. Regan Smith and October Auto Club Speedway winner Tony Stewart rounded out the top five. The top-ten positions were filled out by Unadilla's David Ragan, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, and Mark Martin.
Sprint Cup point leader Kurt Busch was 23rd. Defending race champion and five-time Auto Club winner Jimmie Johnson was 16th.
With only 43 cars attempting the race, there were no DNQs. Casey Mears led the "qualify on speed" contingent with a 25th-placed run in his No. 13 Toyota. Landon Cassill, taking over the No. 09 Chevrolet for Bill Elliott, was next quickest in 28th. The slowest car to complete a lap was Tony Raines, the first driver to take a time, but will start 42nd as J.J. Yeley's No. 46 Chevrolet was unable to fire up for a qualifying run.