BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Matt Kenseth has a contingency plan for next week’s race at California as he awaits the birth of his third child.
Sam Hornish Jr. will be on standby for the Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway, and Jeff Burton will be in place in case Kenseth needs a replacement driver for the Sprint Cup race.
“Although Jeff Burton is not crazy about going to the West Coast, he agreed to standby to practice or something if we needed that for a session,” Kenseth said.
Burton, who is running a limited schedule this season, tweeted Friday: “Friends don’t let friends drive with baby on the way.”
Kenseth has not said exactly when Katie Kenseth is due, but he joked several times that he has told her to have the baby girl on a Monday or Tuesday when he’s not busy with his duties as a Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
With rain expected to impact Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, he joked that Monday of next week is now off the table as a potential due date.
“If it rains Sunday, she was praying for Monday, so we had to change that to Tuesday if it’s going to be this week,” Kenseth said Friday.
He paused when he learned there may be bad weather in Bristol on Monday, too.
“Oh, it’s supposed to snow Monday?” he asked. “So I guess if we can’t race then we can still have her on Monday.”
Kenseth does not have standby drivers for this weekend at Bristol, where he’s scheduled to run both the Nationwide and Cup races.
Meanwhile, Paul Menard has Truck Series champion Matt Crafton on standby for a second consecutive week.
Menard’s wife, Jennifer, is expecting their first child in North Carolina, and Crafton was on standby last weekend in Las Vegas. He wasn’t needed as Menard finished a season-best third.