NASCAR drivers can easily get heated during a race, and sometimes that anger can boil over after a race. That was the case on Saturday, following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega.
Most instances don't become violent, but an issue between Nick Sanchez and Matt Crafton on the track turned into a bloody physical altercation after the race.
Crafton, a three-time truck champion and the most experienced driver in the series, appeared to get his hands on Sanchez, a rookie driver. The drivers' fight left Sanchez with a bloody face.
Justin Watson from Frontstretch.com was able to capture a video from the end of the melee, showing Sanchez bleeding and threatening Crafton.
— Frontstretch (@Frontstretch) September 30, 2023
"I am going to f—-ing kill you at Homestead," Sanchez said.
Sanchez can be seen being held back by fellow driver Cory Roper, and Sanchez can also be heard adding, "You f—-ed with the wrong guy, motherf—-er."
It appears that Crafton took the time to walk up and sucker-punch Sanchez, or so Sanchez claimed after leaving the infield care center following the incident.
Nick Sanchez on what happened in the garage after the race at Talladega and indicated he might have a slight break in his nose. pic.twitter.com/KvykDiyOko
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 30, 2023
Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass was able to catch a word with a much-calmer Sanchez, who gave his account of what happened.
"I was walking back to the hauler, tapped on my back, got punched in the face. Cheap shot, but it is what it is, I guess," Sanchez said. "I'm all for fighting, but no cheap shots, and I got a cheap shot and didn't really have a chance to get him back. It is what it is, it's part of racing."
A post-race incident with drivers for a physical altercation hasn't been punished since 2016, when John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher were both fined for their fight during a truck race.
That lull will likely end after this incident. It doesn't look good by either driver involved. Being bloody after a fight isn't part of NASCAR, nor should it be. Both drivers should be ashamed this even happened.
Punishment in some form should be expected.
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