There was plenty of drama last Saturday following the Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega, including a very physical confrontation between Matt Crafton and Nick Sanchez. The incident left Sanchez with a bloodied face.
Sure tempers were high but for Sanchez to end up with a bloody face was not pretty. According to Sanchez, it was a cheap-shot punch from Crafton.
Crafton had his own defense for what happened claiming it wasn't a cheap shot.
No matter which driver's story is true, NASCAR has now stepped in levying major fines against both drivers. Crafton has been fined $25,000, while Sanchez has been fined $5,000.
— NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) October 3, 2023
NASCAR Senior VP of Competition, Elton Sawyer, addressed the incident on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday morning following the official announcement of the fines.
Sanchez's fine was based on the comments he made in the video of the incident, Sawyer explained.
"We felt like some of the comments that were made by Nick, and we totally understand that's in the heat of the battle, understanding the situation, but we just can't have those types of comments. That's why he received the fine he received."
Sawyer also explained why Crafton's fine was so steep.
"Matt had some time to think about the situation. It wasn't like both drivers got out on pit road, heat of the battle, they go down and have a discussion with each other," Sawyer said. "This one spilled over into the garage sometime after the event, so felt like (it) could have been handled different, and that's why Matt's fine was at $25,000."
The fines weren't the only outcome from the incident, as Sawyer and NASCAR also announced the suspension of Sanchez's father, Rene, for the rest of the season for his actions in the incident, which included throwing punches.
Sanchez remains in the playoff hunt with two races left, while Crafton was eliminated from the playoffs after the first round. Both drivers will be under the microscope and NASCAR plans on meeting with them both when the series gets to Homestead in a couple weeks.
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