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.