Throw the notes away

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Saturday, Jun 21 1582

Michael Waltrip Racing has won the last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Sonoma Raceway.

To hear Clint Bowyer tell it, that track record and $20 might buy you breakfast at the nearby Carneros Inn.

With NASCAR’s new rules package this year, the race setups that carried Bowyer to victory in 2012 and Martin Truex the winner’s circle last year aren’t of much use in 2014, Bowyer acknowledged.

“Things evolve so much with this new rule package, that setup won’t even qualify for this weekend’s race,” he said. “The very setup that won the last two races just won’t… it won’t compete. So I do dig that about this sport. You have to be able to keep up with the times and keep pushing forward and figuring out ways to keep forward drive in the cars and then keep turning it.”

Bowyer and crew chief Brian Pattie must have found some answers for the new configuration. The No. 15 MWR Toyota was second fastest behind Kurt Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet in opening Sprint Cup practice.

In Friday’s second practice, Bowyer paced the field at 95.988 mph.