Trackin’ Trucks: Nick Sanchez Wins at Daytona

Credit: Sean Gardner 

Nick Sanchez earned his first Craftsman Truck Series victory on Friday night, dodging numerous wrecks down to the final laps of the Fresh From Florida 250 at Daytona international Superspeedway.

The event went into overtime and ended under caution after the No. 71 of Rajah Caruth went up the track and turned the No. 91 of Jack Wood.

Corey Heim and Caruth escaped the wreckage to finish second and third, respectively, while Bret Holmes and Spencer Boyd rounded out the top-five finishers.

Mayhem continued after Daniel Dye collided with Taylor Gray, sending him flipping into the air. Gray landed upright on his tires and got out of his truck under his own power.

A total of 12 trucks were involved in the overtime crash, which also brought out the record 12th caution of the night.

“It’s huge,” Sanchez said of his first victory. “We spent all of last year trying to get a win. I knew coming into this year I knew that I had to, right? What better race than to do it than Daytona? Honestly, out of every race, if I was going to do it, this would have been the last one (I expected), but happy to do it. It’s awesome.

“I just knew I had to lead at the white flag, because they were probably going to wreck. I’m glad they wrecked – if everyone is OK. I’m just happy.

“It’s huge. Obviously, we have a new technical partner in Spire (Motorsports)-our first race with them. What a better way to start a partnership. (Sponsor) Gainbridge has stuck with me. They were winless last year. They all deserve it, and they’re going to celebrate with me.”

Caruth was appreciative of all the help he received to make his finish possible, despite being the one who caused all the carnage.

“I’m trying to play it back differently in the last laps, but thank you to everybody at Spire Motorsports,, the Hendrick Automotive Group, and Mr. H (Rick Hendrick) for what they’ve done for me along with everybody at Spire and Chevy,” Caruth said.

“Man, I felt like I got a bad push there, and you’re already getting tight off of the corner, and everybody is going for all they have on the last lap. I feel terrible to see trucks like that torn up. I hope Taylor (Gray) is all right. But a good night to start the year."

A Lap 6 crash started the chaos that never seemed to end, after a push gone wrong from Christian Eckes to Matt Crafton collected multiple trucks including Layne Riggs. Ty Dillon, Thad Moffitt and Jake Garcia were immediately eliminated, while Riggs took his Ford to the garage on Lap 17.

“Chaos, a lot of craziness – everybody was just kind of all over the place,” Dillon said. “I’ve never seen anything look like that from behind the wheel four laps into a race.”

Ben Rhodes was having a good night before Tyler Ankrum door-slammed his No. 99 Ford on Lap 68. The defending series champion pitted, but spun shortly after making his way back on the track, effectively ending his night.

Stefan Parsons finished sixth, Crafton seventh, while Timmy Hill, Bryan Dauzat and Eckes completed the top 10.

A Look Ahead

The Craftsman Truck Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where over half the field hopes to better their chances than at Daytona.

Eckes won the event a year ago over Sanchez.

Don’t miss the Fr8 208 on Saturday, February 24th at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
Trackin’ Trucks: Nick Sanchez Wins at Daytona  Trackin’ Trucks: Nick Sanchez Wins at Daytona Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Saturday, February 17, 2024 Rating: 5