Nick Sanchez – driver of the No. 2 Max Siegel Inc. Chevrolet SS for Rev Racing — was able to hang on for the victory in Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway, but not in the most ideal of ways.
Saturday’s event was completed short of the scheduled distance, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series was scheduled to compete in a 300-mile event at the superspeedway at 4:00 pm ET on FOX. With 14 laps to go, series officials informed the teams that the next flag would end the race, whether that be the caution or the checkered.
Drivers were slicing and dicing for position all throughout the event, in a rare superspeedway event not dominated by a quartet of Venturini Motorsports entries.
In the end, it was Daniel Dye who brought out the race-ending caution flag, as the GMS Racing driver attempted to defend his lead over Corey Heim, but wasn’t clear, spinning off the front bumper of the No. 20.
As the chaos erupted, Sanchez was able to shoot the gap through the middle between Bret Holmes and Corey Heim to capture his first victory of the season and the second of his ARCA Menards Series career.
Retweet to congratulate Nick Sanchez on his ARCA WIN at Talladega! pic.twitter.com/towm1cYiYT
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 23, 2022
While that was the last accident of the afternoon, it certainly wasn’t the only one.
With 29 scheduled laps until the conclusion of Saturday’s event, multiple cars were wiped out of the race in ‘The Big One’, including Scott Melton and Eric Caudell, who both took huge hits towards the end of the wreck.
Melton had to be extracted from his No. 69 Ford Fusion and put on a stretcher where he communicated with safety workers and signaled to the crowd. The ARCA Menards Series veteran has since been airlifted to a local hospital, per TobyChristie.com’s Toby Christie.
Scott Melton, who was involved in that vicious accident has been airlifted to a local hospital. He was awake and alert and moving his head around when they loaded him into the helicopter. #ARCA
— Toby Christie (@Toby_Christie) April 23, 2022
Daniel Dye’s ‘final lap incident’ was crucial in the championship fight, as the GMS Racing driver has lost the series points lead to Rajah Caruth, who was near the front of the field and leading laps at the conclusion of the event.
It may have ended in some controversy, but Nick Sanchez’s sneaky victory shot him up to third in points, just four points behind his teammate in the No. 6.
Part-timers rounded out the top-5 with Bret Holmes, Corey Heim, Thad Moffitt, and Gus Dean all scoring good clean finishes. Rajah Caruth, Drew Dollar, Ryan Huff, Parker Chase, and Max Gutierrez rounded out the top-10.
ARCA gets a few weeks off once again before the series heads north to Kansas Speedway for the Dutch Boy 150, where the young driver of the No. 2 looks to defend the win he scored just under a year ago.