FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Paul Menard will miss Friday's practice and qualifying session at Auto Club Speedway following the birth of his daughter.
Menard remained in North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, who gave birth to their first child Tuesday. Richard Childress Racing announced the birth of Remi Barbara Christine Menard on Twitter.
The team said Matt Crafton will substitute for Menard in the No. 27 Chevrolet on Friday. Menard plans to be in California for Saturday's practice and Sunday's race.
Menard would be required to start at the back of the field for missing qualifying.
NASCAR requires a driver to either qualify or race the car for every event to be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Injury waivers are available, but the birth of a child would not qualify.