Montoya on pole for Talladega

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:59 PM ET

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Juan Pablo Montoya captured the pole for Sunday's Amp Energy Juice 500 after posting the quickest lap in qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway.

Montoya turned in a lap of 184.640 m.p.h. in his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet for his third pole of the season and the fifth of his Sprint Cup Series career. His first pole came in the 2009 spring event at Talladega. Qualifying for the last two Cup races here was canceled due to rain, with owner points determining the starting lineup.

"We always run really good at restrictor-plate tracks," Montoya said. "Last time we were [at Talladega], we finished third, and [teammate] Jamie [McMurray] was second, so we're looking forward to a good day tomorrow."

Clint Bowyer, who currently sits last in the 12-driver Chase rankings, grabbed the outside pole after he qualified just 0.04 seconds behind Montoya.

"There's not a whole lot to look forward to on qualifying day," Bowyer said. "When you are that close, then you're really frustrated."

Scott Miller continues to serve as Bowyer's crew chief, while his regular crew chief, Shane Wilson, is in the midst of serving his four-race suspension. Wilson was suspended after Bowyer's New Hampshire-winning car failed post-race inspection.

Kurt Busch qualified third, followed by Joe Nemechek and Jeff Burton. Nemechek was the fastest among the ten drivers who were required to qualify on time.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dave Blaney, Ryan Newman, Casey Mears and Sam Hornish Jr. completed the top-10.

Points leader and four-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson will start 19th. Johnson holds just a six-point advantage over Denny Hamlin, who qualified 17th. Kevin Harvick, presently 62 points out of the lead, will start 14th. Harvick has won the last two restrictor-plate races, including the spring event at Talladega.

McMurray, who won here one year ago, qualified 12th.

Landon Cassill, Travis Kvapil and Johnny Sauter failed to qualify.

The 500-mile race at Talladega is scheduled to start shortly after 1:00 p.m. EDT.


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