Bowyer blasts off with top spot in practice

The No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota leads the first session at Sonoma.

Clint Bowyer topped the speed chart in first practice at Sonoma Raceway with a lap of 74.979-seconds (95.547 mph) in his 18th of 20 laps.

AJ Allmendinger (75.159), Sam Hornish Jr. (75.338), Danica Patrick (75.401) and Jamie McMurray (75.458) rounded out the top-five fastest times on the 1.99-mile circuit at Sears Point.

“That was pretty hard off of (turn) seven and a little bit up the hill,” said Bowyer, who won this race in 2012 and has just two finishes outside of the top 10 in nine starts. “Just need a little bit here and a little bit there.”

David Ragan, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and last year’s winner Carl Edwards rounded out the top 10. 

“This is the most fun race of the year for me,” Edwards said. “I feel like we can win this weekend. I think we can win a lot of races.

Three drivers lost control of their cars in the first session. Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola and Paul Menard hit the spin cycle while Casey Mears ran off the road — and then ran out of gas to bring out the yellow toward the end of first practice.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Sonoma
Track Sonoma Raceway
Drivers A.J. Allmendinger , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Stewart-Haas Racing , Richard Petty Motorsports , Chip Ganassi Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Practice report