Matt and Katie Kenseth welcome daughter Clara Mae into the family

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Matt Kenseth jokingly said almost two weeks ago that he had asked wife Katie to hold off on giving birth to their third child until the Monday after this weekend’s upcoming race Martinsville.

Clara Mae Kenseth had other ideas.

The Kenseths welcomed their third daughter into the world Tuesday night, five days before Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway – and almost a whole week ahead of when Matt hoped the blessed event would happen.

Clara Mae was born at 7:39 pm ET and weighed eight pounds and five ounces, according to a news release sent out Wednesday morning by Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Both mother and daughter are doing well,” the news release said.

Matt, who has had several drivers standing by for him the last three races in the event he had to hightail it back to North Carolina, is taking a few days off to be with his wife and the family’s newest addition, but will be back at Martinsville likely on Friday.

Clara Mae joins the couple’s other daughters, Kaylin and Grace, along with Matt’s son Ross.

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Carb Day: Tony Kanaan is fastest in final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500

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Tony Kanaan wants to put legendary driver and team owner A.J. Foyt back into Victory Lane at the Indianapolis 500.

Kanaan took a big step toward achieving that goal in Friday’s final practice for Sunday’s 102nd running of the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.

Kanaan was fastest of the 33-driver field, with a best lap around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval at 227.791 mph, more than 2 mph faster than the second-fastest driver, Kanaan’s former teammate, Scott Dixon (225.684 mph).

Foyt won a record-tying four Indy 500’s as a driver. It’s been nearly 20 years since he also won as a team owner in 1999 with Kenny Brack behind the wheel.

Marco Andretti was third-fastest (225.200 mph), followed by Sebastien Bourdais (224.815), Charlie Kimball (224.712), 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (224.083), Will Power (223.942), Danica Patrick (223.653), Spencer Pigot (223.584) and Ed Jones (223.556).

Other notable driver speeds included:

* Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th fastest (223.219 mph).

* Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden was 15th (223.186 mph).

* Helio Castroneves, hoping to earn a record-tying fourth 500 win, was 17th (222.913 mph).

* Graham Rahal was 21st (222.526).

* Former 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay was 26th (221.916 mph), followed by rookie Robert Wickens (221.821 mph), carrying the mantle for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with James Hinchcliffe having failed to qualify for the race.

* The biggest surprise was 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who was 32nd fastest (221.374 mph).

We’ll have the full speed grid, as well as full driver quotes, shortly. Please check back soon.

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