His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon will start second and third.
Johnson, the three-time defending series champion, has a 118-point advantage over Martin with four races remaining in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. But Talladega is his weakest track, and he's got a 17.7 average finish.
He's started from the pole at Talladega two other times, both in his 2002 rookie season.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
The NBA All-Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years longer than anticipated.
Kyle Snyder made history at the Rio Olympics by becoming the youngest American wrestler to win a gold medal.
NFL owners cut the overtime period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes during the regular season, but also gave players plenty of leeway to celebrate after a touchdown.