NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

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September 16, 2012
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Johnson gets pole for first playoff race

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Jimmie Johnson took an immediate step toward another Sprint Cup title - but the five-time champion is well aware it was a small one.

Johnson won the pole Saturday for this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, an impressive start for the man whose streak of five Cup titles came to an end last year. The Chase for the Sprint Cup begins with Sunday's 400-mile event, but Johnson shrugged off any talk of an immediate statement.

"It's too early in the Chase to be over-the-top excited or down and out if you didn't qualify like …

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Sep 16, 2012 01:45AM Published Sep 16, 2012 01:43AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.