Unpleasant surprise for Bowyer

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 21:  Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 21, 2014 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

SONOMA, CA – JUNE 21: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 21, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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).”

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