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NASCAR: Kenseth making backup plans for baby

by The Associated Press on March 16, 2014 1:50 AM

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 stand by 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 today’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.”

GORDON ADAPTING: Jeff Gordon’s grown accustomed to change in NASCAR, especially at Darlington Raceway.

The four-time Sprint Cup series champion has won races at the track “Too Tough To Tame” in March, May, August and September and is ready for Darlington’s latest schedule shift when the Southern 500 takes place April 12.

Gordon says things are always changing in stock car racing and when Darlington holds its race does not matter — as long as he’s lined up at the starting line.

Gordon is the series’ active leader with seven victories at Darlington, trailing Hall of Famers David Pearson with 10 and the late Dale Earnhardt with nine.

Gordon visited the track Thursday, meeting fans purchasing tickets for next month’s event and taking a prize-winner for a pace-car ride around Darlington.

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