Denny Hamlin could miss Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway if his girlfriend, Jordan Fish, goes into labor to deliver the couple’s second child.
If Hamlin does indeed miss the race, Christopher Bell will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut. Bell is currently leading the Camping World Truck Series points, and he has four wins this season in that series.
Bell has raced in two Xfinity Series races this season. He will be able to practice in Hamlin’s No. 11 car on Saturday just in case Hamlin has to fly out of town.
This is the second consecutive week Hamlin thought he might miss the race. Regan Smith was set to fill in for him last week.
Missing the race won’t make much of an impact on the postseason for Hamlin. He already has a win this season, so his place in the playoffs is secure. He is also fifth in the points, and he has eight top-10s this season.
It would be great experience for the 22-year-old Bell, who has had plenty of success driving the No. 4 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season.
(h/t NBC Sports)