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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Truck Series champion Matt Crafton will be on standby at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for Paul Menard as the driver awaits the birth of his first child.

Jennifer Menard remained in North Carolina while Menard made the trip to Las Vegas for Sunday's race.

Crafton will be on standby for all practice sessions and the race. Crafton won the Truck Series championship last season, and although he has 317 career starts over 15 years, he has never raced in the Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR wanted to observe Crafton in the No. 27 Chevrolet on Thursday to approve him as the standby driver.

Crafton and Menard have been close friends since 2001, and he said he's honored Menard has the confidence in him to step in if needed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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