Time trial updates from Day One at IMS

Jimmie Johnson has strong qualifying run, will race for pole

INDIANAPOLIS — In the final moments before his Indianapolis 500 qualifying run Saturday — the first in his illustrious, two-decade racing career — Jimmie Johnson was reminded of the life he lived a year ago.

Beside the track, right next to where Johnson started his car, sat the NBC pit box. Johnson watched the 2021 500 from that very box, feeling left out of the action. He was a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion but had just ventured into IndyCar.

In his first time qualifying on the oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Johnson turned in a stellar four laps, posting the sixth best average speed during the first day of qualifying for next Sunday’s Indy 500 — outpacing IndyCar greats and former 500 champions Scott Dixon, Will Power, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi and four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves.

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