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Paul Menard says ‘more than likely’ he will exit car early at Talladega

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 - Practice

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 10: Paul Menard, driver of the #21 Master Techs/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, sits in his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 10, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

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TALLADEGA, Ala. - Paul Menard said Saturday that ‘more than likely ... I’m probably going to get out” of the car during Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

He cited neck issues.

Matt Crafton will take over for Menard should Menard exit the car early. Crafton, who finished eighth in Saturday’s Truck Series race at Talladega, drove the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford in practice this weekend for Menard.

“My neck has some disc issues and things that if I were to get upside down, it would be pretty bad,” said Menard, who will start 14th in Sunday’s race. “Normal hits aren’t bad. It’s upside down things that are bad.”

Menard said “we’re going to kind of see how it goes” on how long he will be in the car.

Menard announced Sept. 10 that he would retire from full-time NASCAR competition after this season.