CUP: Friday Loudon Notebook

HARVICK WILLING TO PLAY HOOKY - Was Kevin Harvick prepared to put his chance at a Sprint Cup championship in jeopardy to be present for the birth of his first child?

It didn’t come to that, but Friday Harvick said, yes, absolutely.

“I haven’t seen anything here that at all compares,” he said, referring to the Sunday birth of his son, Keelan.

Harvick’s wife, DeLana, began experiencing discomfort while at Daytona International Speedway last Friday as Harvick continued preparations for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400.

Kevin and DeLana flew home to North Carolina Saturday, and Harvick said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway he was prepared to stay at home if the birth appeared to be imminent. He returned to Daytona Beach mid-afternoon Saturday and competed in the race, then returned to North Carolina. Keelan was born Sunday morning.

Harvick could have missed Saturday’s race and still been in good shape to make the Chase, but he said Friday none of that mattered when compared to being with his wife for the birth of their son.

DRIVERS WAITING ON RESULTS – Drivers in the Sprint Cup garage are taking a wait-and-see attitude in reference to the recent suspension of AJ Allmendinger, who failed a recent drug test.

“I’m certainly shocked to see that, especially the way it unfolded so late in the day Saturday prior to the start of the race,” said Jimmie Johnson. “I reserve judgment. I just don’t know where the truth is and what is going on there.”

Kevin Harvick also expressed surprise that the announcement of Allmendinger’s temporary suspension came so close to the start of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Beach.

Allmendinger has requested that the so-called “B” sample from his test be checked. Results of that test are expected soon. Sam Hornish Jr., who filled in for Allmendinger last week, will be in the No. 22 Dodge again this week at New Hampshire.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.