SONOMA, Calif.— Clint Bowyer was at a loss to explain what happened between Friday’s final practice session, where his No. 15 Toyota was fastest, and Saturday morning’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session, where the Michael Waltrip Racing driver was much slower than expected.
Bowyer could do no better than 25th fastest in the first round of knockout qualifying at the 1.99-mile road course. That will be his position on the grid for the start of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.
“Well, that wasn’t what we expected,” Bowyer said after qualifying, in the understatement of the day. “We were fast all day (Friday)—just didn’t have enough grip and missed Turn 4.
But Bowyer was philosophical.
“We’ll just have to pass a few more cars (on Sunday).”