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NASCAR At Kentucky: Race Time, TV Listing, Other Pre-Race Talk

Jimmie Johnson will start out the Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Saturday at Kentucky Speedway from the pole, while last week's winner, Clint Bowyer, will be on the outside of row three in the sixth position on the grid.

Jimmie Johnson, pole-sitter in Saturday's Quaker State 400 NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson, pole-sitter in Saturday's Quaker State 400 NASCAR race at Kentucky Speedway.

Round 17 in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule takes place Saturday night under the lights at 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports will be on the pole, the No. 48 car's first pole in Cup racing in almost two years.

Johnson last started on the pole in 2010 at Dover. He was the 43rd of the 44 cars to make a timed run in Friday's qualifying session for the Quaker State 400 starting grid. "Qualifying has not been our strong suit in the last couple of years," Johnson said to reporters on Friday. "I'm very happy to get this pole. My Chevy's bad fast, and I'm looking forward to going racing."

Johnson will start alongside of Kyle Busch, with Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick in the row behind. Kansas City-area drivers Clint Bowyer, from Emporia, and Columbia, Mo.'s, Carl Edwards will start sixth and 25th, respectively, on Saturday night. Bowyer won last week's road-course race at Infineon Raceway in California, his first victory of the season.

Current point leader, Matt Kenseth, who announced earlier this week that this would be his final season with Roush-Fenway, will start in 20th position. Kenseth and Edwards are teammates at Roush-Fenway, along with Greg Biffle, who is currently second in the standings.

Kenseth says he knows with whom he will be racing in the 2013 season, but he is not ready to reveal that information at this time.

This is only the third year NASCAR has held a Sprint Cup race at 12-year-old Kentucky Speedway.

Saturday night's Sprint Cup race will be aired on TNT, starting at 6:30 ET.