Clint Bowyer calls Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway his “favorite track” and on Friday he left little doubt as to why.
Bowyer, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ most recent race winner, posted an average lap speed of 93.590 mph very early in Friday’s first practice session and it stood the remainder of the one hour, 15-minute session.
“It is the short track of road racing,” Bowyer said of Sonoma. “And who am I to say that? I am not a road racer and haven’t really been on anything other than these two that we race on.
“It has always felt like a little bullring short track somewhere in the Midwest. It just happens to be that you go right and shift gears all at the same time.”
Ryan Blaney ended up second (93.546 mph) and Joey Logano third (93.172 mph) as Ford teams swept the top three positions.
Jamie McMurray was fourth and Daniel Suarez completed the top five. The rest of the Top 10 were Jimmie Johnson, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr., A.J. Allmendinger and Ryan Newman.
Last year’s race winner, Kevin Harvick, ended up 12th. Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon completed the most laps in the session (23 each).
About 20 minutes into session, Kasey Kahne spun off course in Turn 3 but was able to continue on without incident.
“I felt a slight gain in Turn 6,” Kahne said over his radio after his spin. “Then that was it. I couldn't get it to cut in Turn 7.”
Erik Jones also went off course about 30 minutes into the session but with no apparent damage to his No. 20 Toyota.
Caution was displayed on the course about 49 minutes into the session for debris on the track. It appeared a brake hose broke off the car of Cody Ware.
Three drivers – Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Kahne – were forced to sit out the final 15 minutes of practice for failing pre-race inspection twice at Michigan.
David Ragan was forced to sit out the final 30 minutes of the session after his team failed pre-race inspection three times at Michigan.
|8||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||14||1'17.353||0.806||0.030||92.614|
|15||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||11||1'17.523||0.976||0.011||92.411|
|33||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Chevrolet||21||1'18.795||2.248||0.187||90.919|