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NASCAR

Jimmie Johnson to Start on Pole at Pocono After Rain Cancels Track Activities

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Johnson may be a sitting duck on Sunday afternoon. Johnson will start from the front of the field for the Pocono 400 after NASCAR canceled all on-track activities at the Pocono Raceway on Friday due to rain.

The field has been set based upon owners points. Since there were only 43 cars on the entry list, each team will be starting the race. Johnson’s pole will not count as an additional one after his qualifying run at Martinsville a few races ago where he started in the top position.

Though there was no practice throughout Friday, teams will have the opportunity to practice on Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. depending on the weather. If the rain keeps up, it could limit the amount of practice times the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have. Considering they haven’t been to Pocono since last year, it’s going to be rough for many of the teams if there’s going to be just one practice session.

Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing tested at Pocono as of late, which should give them an advantage heading into this weekend. The drivers for these two teams are very excited about the race now that practice was canceled, giving them a slight upper hand entering Sunday’s race. It’s the first time the Generation Six car will be at Pocono, which should be interesting to see how the new cars adapt to the conditions of the track.

Johnson’s pole is the third for him at Pocono in his career. However, besides his season sweep in 2004, Johnson’s best track is definitely not Pocono. In his career, he’s only finished outside of the top-15 once at Pocono, which was in 2007, where he was nine laps down in a race that ended early. It should be interesting to see how Johnson will do leading the field to the green.

Starting on the outside of Johnson will be Carl Edwards, who won his second career race at Pocono back in 2005. The last winner at Pocono, Jeff Gordon, will start 11th. Denny Hamlin, who’s won at Pocono several times and is red hot at the track, will start 17th.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.