Newman's wife Krissie is due at about Thanksgiving — thankfully, there's none of that "we're expecting" nonsense from the Newman camp — and the contingency plans are in place for Phoenix and Homestead. Ron Hornaday will be on standby to replace Newman if need be. All Newman needs to do is start the race to get credit for running it, of course, but the fact that Newman missed the Chase makes this a lot less critical than it might otherwise be.
Hornaday is, of course, a master of the Trucks Series, where he's got wins at Phoenix from 1998 and 1999. Hornaday last ran in the Cup series at Homestead in the final race of 2003, where he placed 20th in an RCR car.
We wish the Newman family all the best with their impending arrival. Wonder what Tony Stewart got them for a baby shower gift.
- Ron Hornaday