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Jimmie Johnson on Martinsville pole

Updated: October 26, 2012, 6:33 PM ET
Associated Press

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Jimmie Johnson's championship hopes got a boost Friday when he won the pole position for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, while points leader Brad Keselowski qualified 32nd.

Johnson, a five-time champion, gained not only the top starting spot with his lap at 97.598 miles per hour, but the stall at the front of pit road, giving him unimpeded access to the track.

"Track position is important, and then that pit stall is so important," Johnson ...

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