NASCAR: Clint Bowyer tops Sonoma final practice

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2012 Sonoma winner Clint Bowyer is looking strong heading into tomorrow’s qualifying session on the Northern California circuit.

After running P2 in today’s first practice session to Kurt Busch, Bowyer improved to the top spot in final practice with a time of 74.634 seconds around the 1.99-mile road course.

Sonoma has been one of Bowyer’s strongholds in recent years. In addition to his aforementioned triumph two years ago, Bowyer has collected five Top-5s and six Top-10s there for an average finish of 9.1 – second only to Jeff Gordon (8.2).

Following Bowyer in final practice was Paul Menard, who is coming off a fourth-place result at Michigan. Menard made a move late to go up to P2 with a lap of 74.981 seconds.

After settling among the Top 10 speeds in the first practice, Carl Edwards rose to third in the second session after posting a lap of 75.043 seconds.

Jamie McMurray was fourth-fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing (75.045 secs), while Dale Earnhardt Jr. – a driver that has never claimed a Top-10 finish in his Cup career at Sonoma – was listed fifth on the sheets (75.045 secs).

Positions 6-10 were filled by rookie Kyle Larson, defending Sonoma winner Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, and Greg Biffle. Last week’s Michigan winner, Jimmie Johnson, was 23rd.

Qualifying will take place tomorrow afternoon at 1:40 p.m. ET, followed by Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at 1 p.m. ET.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT SONOMA – FINAL PRACTICE TIMES

Make sure to follow all of Friday’s Indy 500 ‘Carb Day’ action on NBCSN from Indianapolis

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It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”

But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.

Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.

Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:

  • 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
  • 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual NASCAR America Motorsports Special. Among segments included in the 90-minute show will be:1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
    2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
    3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
    4) An essay by Nate Ryan on Danica Patrick as she looks to compete in her final Indy 500 before retiring from professional racing.

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