When Paul Menard’s race car rolls off the hauler Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Menard may not be the man behind the wheel.
The Wisconsin native and his wife are anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child, and will have NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton on hand as a fill-in driver for the weekend. For Crafton, being on call this weekend is almost as nerve-racking as the baby watch is for Menard.
“It’s tough, because you just don’t know when or even if it will happen,” he said. “But kind of like a backup quarterback, you have to be ready at any time. Paul and I have been good friends going back to 2001. We’ve raced together and I actually spotted for him early in his career. For him to have the confidence in me to get the job done if he has to head back home -- that’s awesome.”
|Crafton on call|
LVMS is a track that suits Menard well, with Top-10 finishes in each of the last two years. And the Richard Childress Racing driver said he looks forward to racing there this weekend… if he can.
"Las Vegas is great, it’s fast and it’s challenging to make your car work for the entire race," said Menard. "We have so many intermediate tracks on the schedule, but after all the time spent with Daytona and then going to the shorter track at Phoenix, I always look forward to Las Vegas with the high speed and banking."Menard will carry the Quaker State paint scheme this weekend, in its 2014 debut. For Menard, it will be the 27th time he has lined up for the start of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with Quaker State colors.