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Nick Sanchez Strikes Late for Second Win of 2024; Collects $50k Triple Truck Challenge Bonus

Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com

Nick Sanchez and REV Racing didn’t even sniff the race lead once throughout Friday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But, when the pay window opened, the Miami, Florida-native found himself ready to cash out.

The 22-year-old driver, in his second year competing in the NASCAR Truck Series, is now $50,000 wealthier after his No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet Silverado crossed under the checkered flag in the lead, making him the first benefactor in the 2024 Triple Truck Challenge program.

For the 2022 ARCA Menards Series champion, earning the monetary bonus required a fantastic defense against a hard-charging Corey Heim, who after leading 72 of 134 laps, was determined to put his No. 11 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro back at the front of the field, after a disastrous pit stop on the race’s final caution.

Sanchez, the winner of the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway, was able to put himself in prime position on brand-new Goodyear tires, blasting out of a cannon on the restart and immediately driving around then-race-leader Christian Eckes, gapping Corey Heim enough to plot a major defense.

“It’s awesome. I mean, what could I say more about this team,” said Sanchez post-race. “We started off bad. We knew it. Did not affect us. We went to work. We put ourselves in a position when it mattered most. This is for Chris Showalter, my car chief. It’s his Birthday today, his 700th truck start. This is for him. Great to get No. 2.”

For Heim, that disaster of a pit stop cost the TRICON Garage driver more than just the victory, after it was discovered that three lug nuts were improperly secured post-race, resulting in a disqualification from second place. Thus, everybody who wasn’t the race-winner will be promoted one spot in the final rundown.

RESULTS: North Carolina Education Lottery 200

Stewart Friesen will be credited with a runner-up finish, the first top-five result of the year for Halmar Friesen Racing, and his best finish since WWT Raceway nearly a full year ago. Grant Enfinger will finish in third place, his second consecutive top-three for CR7 Motorsports.

In fourth place will be Matt Mills and Niece Motorsports, who record their first top-five of the year as a pairing, and also a career-best for the longtime Xfinity Series journeyman. Ben Rhodes will round out this revised top-five. Jake Garcia will be credited with sixth, while Kaden Honeycutt, Connor Mosack, Dean Thompson, and now Christian Eckes will complete the top-10.

With Heim’s disqualification from Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200, the Marietta, Georgia native gets knocked down from what would have been the TRICON Garage driver retaking the points lead. Now, Christian Eckes holds a 30-point advantage over Heim and a 50-point advantage over third-place Nick Sanchez.

Next for the NASCAR Truck Series is a trip to St. Louis, Missouri, for the series’ annual event at WWT Raceway.

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