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NASCAR Cup: Matt Crafton on standby for Paul Menard at Talladega

DOVER, DE – MAY 03: Matt Crafton, driver of the (88) Chi-Chi’s/Menards Ford, stands by his truck during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 3, 2018 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Two-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion Matt Crafton will be on standby Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Paul Menard during the 1000Bulbs.com 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Menard has been experiencing ongoing pain in his neck.

“Due to neck issues I’ve been battling, and talking it over with my wife, team and doctors, I’ve made the decision to be sure Matt is prepared to finish out the race for me if needed,” Menard said. “I’m a race car driver and a competitor, but I also need to be smart and take care of myself for my family. As I want what is best for the Wood Brothers and my 21 family, I know Matt can get in there, if need be, and mix it up and will do a great job.”

In preparation to possibly be an in-race sub for Menard behind the wheel of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, Crafton will make laps in the car during Cup Series practice on Friday. Menard also is expected to make practice laps in the car Friday, qualify the car Saturday and start Sunday’s race. As long as Menard starts the race, he’ll receive the points awarded for the car’s finish, even if he is replaced by Crafton during the race.

The 2019 season will be Menard’s last in the Cup Series, as he announced his retirement last month.

Crafton will compete in Saturday’s Sugarlands Shine 250 Truck Series race, also at Talladega, as driver of the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford. He is among six drivers who remain in contention for the 2019 series championship with four races remaining.

Crafton has one-career Cup Series start, coming in the 2015 Daytona 500 as a substitute for the injured Kyle Busch. He finished 18th.

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Posted by on October 11, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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