NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350

Where: Sonoma Raceway, Highways 37 and 121, Sonoma

What: The 16th race on the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule

The course: 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course; 110 laps

TV: Friday -- Sprint Cup Series practice, 1 p.m., final practice, 3:30 p.m., on Speed. Saturday -- Sprint Cup Series qualifying, 1 p.m. on TNT. Sunday -- Toyota/Save Mart 350, noon on TNT.

Last year: Clint Bowyer, who qualified sixth and had never won on a road course, held off former race winners Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch in a green-white-checkered finish to win. It was Bowyer's first Cup victory since he won at Talladega, Ala., in October 2011. He led 71 of 112 laps and was the eighth different winner at Sonoma in the past eight years. Stewart was second and Busch was third. There were only two caution flags -- a record low for the NASCAR race in Sonoma -- for seven laps. The first caution didn't come out until the 82nd lap, also a record. Marcos Ambrose won the pole but had tire trouble early and finished eighth.


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Notes: Bowyer is third in the Cup standings with 489 points, 49 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Carl Edwards is second with 507 points. . . . Danica Patrick, now driving full time in the Cup series after a year spent mainly competing in the Nationwide Series, is back at Sonoma for the first time since 2011 when she was in the IndyCar Series. This is the first time Patrick will be competing on a track in the Cup series that she used to race on in IndyCar. . . . In the new qualifying format, drivers will have two practice sessions Friday, the second of which will set the groups for Saturday's qualifying based on practice times. Each group will be given a session on track to produce their best lap time, with the pole-sitter battling for the top spot among the drivers in the quickest group. . . . This race marks the road course debut for the Gen-6 stock car.

Schedule

Friday -- 8:10 a.m.: Formula 3 practice. 8:40 a.m.: Legends practice. 10 a.m.: Formula 3 practice. 10:30 a.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West practice. Noon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice. 2 p.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West final practice. 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice.

Saturday -- 8:40 a.m.: Legends practice. 9:30 a.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West qualifying. 11:05 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying. 1 p.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West race (64 laps). 3:45 p.m.: Formula 3 warm-up. 4:10 p.m.: Legends race (one hour). 5:20 p.m.: Formula 3 race (30 minutes).

Sunday -- 11:30 a.m.: Toyota/Save Mart 350 driver introductions. Noon: Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (110 laps).

-- CURTIS PASHELKA