Richard Childress Racing announced today that after witnessing the birth of his daughter Remi on Tuesday night, Paul Menard will not travel to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Cal., this weekend until Saturday morning.
Matt Crafton will replace Menard in the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet SS for both practice and qualifying on Friday. Menard will be in the car for a pair of Saturday practices and Sunday’s. Because of the driver change post-qualifying, Menard will have to start in the rear of the field for Sunday’s race.
NASCAR Director of Communications Kristi King said Menard's failure to attempt qualifying will not imppact his eligibility for the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "The minimum requirement to qualify for the Chase is a legitimate attempt to qualify for the event," said King. "He will exceed that by participating in final practice and competing in the race on Sunday.