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Nick Sanchez Clinches First Career Victory Amidst Overtime Chaos at Daytona

Photo Credit: Craig White,

There isn’t a better place to score a victory than Daytona International Speedway. For Nick Sanchez, driving the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado for REV Racing, Friday’s Fresh from Florida 250 marked the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory.

Sanchez, who propelled his Gainbridge-sponsored entry to the head of the pack for 22 of the race’s final 23 laps, but still had to mount a proper defense against his alliance teammates Corey Lajoie and Rajah Caruth at Spire Motorsports, who were able to edge ahead of the No. 2 on the first of two circuits in NASCAR Overtime.

The win Friday at Daytona is the first for both the 22-year-old Sanchez and REV Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, as both driver and team enter their second season of full-time competition in the Truck Series. The pairing won the ARCA Menards Series title together in 2022.

“Pretty surreal, especially with how the race started,” said Sanchez. “I’m covered in dirt from it. But, just a big thanks to my team. Sticking with me all last year, we were winless. It hurt. We should have won, but we redeemed ourselves in the first race possible.”

With help from fellow second-year driver Taylor Gray, Sanchez was able to take the white flag with a substantial advantage over a side-by-side battle for second between Gray and Jack Wood. That big of a lead, although not usually recommended at superspeedways, was what ended up clinching the victory for the REV Racing driver.

Behind Sanchez, Rajah Caruth attempted to get into the outside lane behind Jack Wood, clipping the left rear quarter panel of the No. 91, triggering a gnarly accident on the backstretch on the race’s final lap, which saw Taylor Gray get struck hard by Daniel Dye and go airborne in his No. 17 JBL Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.

Both Taylor Gray and Daniel Dye, who took the hardest licks in the last-lap crash on Friday, were both checked and released from the infield care center. But, the chaos that erupted in that accident, forced NASCAR to assemble the finishing order piece-by-piece between the trucks that weren’t damaged.

Rajah Caruth, who made the first contact to trigger that major accident, finished in the runner-up position, a career-best for the newly-named Spire Motorsports driver. He was followed by Corey Heim, the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular-season champion.

Bret Holmes was credited with a fourth-place finish in his No. 32 Chevrolet Silverado, rebounding from an earlier incident where he spun from the lead at the exit of the fourth corner, along with Bayley Currey. Meanwhile, fifth place was credited to Spencer Boyd, making his debut with the new team Freedom Racing Enterprises in the No. 76.

Stefan Parsons was credited with a sixth-place run in his debut with Henderson Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Parsons, like Holmes, sustained damage in an earlier wreck but was able to stay on the lead lap and in the draft to record a top-10 finish.

Matt Crafton was credited with a seventh-place result in the No. 88 Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing. Timmy Hill started his second full-time campaign in the NASCAR Truck Series with an eighth-place finish, while Bryan Dauzat scored his second-ever top-10 in ninth. Christian Eckes, after being in at least two wrecks, finished 10th.

Friday’s 100-lap event at Daytona was marred with several accidents sprinkled throughout the event, which prohibited the field from getting into a groove. Overall, the race featured 12 cautions for 52 laps, including several incidents that included drivers in all spots throughout the field.

Johnny Sauter, who was the fastest car in practice on Thursday and qualified on the front row in Friday’s single-car qualifying session, looked to be one of the quickest cars all evening, before getting collected in a wreck with Stefan Parsons, Christian Eckes, and Corey Lajoie in turn four, taking him out of the event, leaving him to finish 29th.

The biggest accident of the evening, though, happened on the seventh lap of the race, when Matt Crafton made contact with Stewart Friesen on the backstretch, collecting at least 11 different trucks, including Thad Moffitt, Ty Dillon, Jake Garcia, and Layne Riggs, amongst others.

Leaving Daytona, Nick Sanchez is the only driver locked into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoffs and will look to continue a strong season in the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, an event taking place Saturday, February 24.

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