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Jimmie Johnson Fast In Kentucky

Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR

Mr. “5-Time” Jimmie Johnson won the pole starting position in qualifying for tonight’s Quaker State 400 NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway.

One of the story lines this weekend is the weather – the wind storm that interupted qualifying and the heat expected for the race.  Before the storm, track temperatures were over 140 degrees.  The wind was pretty treacherous and dropped track temperatures by about 40 degrees when cars returned to the track to continue qualifying.

Johnson turned a fast speed of 181.818 mph.  Last year’s race winner Kyle Busch was second fastest at 181.421.  Last week’s race winner Clint Bowyer rolls off tonight from 6th and the winner at MIS, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be right behind in the 7th starting spot.

Series points leader Matt Kenseth will start 20th.  Kenseth made big news this week when it was announced that he would be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Where Kenseth will land has yet to be officially announced, but RFR did announce that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., would be promoted from the Nationwide Series to succeed Kenseth at the Cup level.

Here’s the complete lineup for tonight’s race.

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