TALLADEGA, Ala. – Short-track tempers showed up at NASCAR’s largest track in the Craftsman Truck Series … between a veteran and a rookie, no less.
NASCAR Xfinity Series regular and 2018 Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt‘s win in a one-off start with Front Row Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway was overshadowed by a bloody scuffle on pit road on Saturday (Sept. 30).
It started with an on-track incident during the first overtime of the Love’s RV Stop 250 where championship contender Nick Sanchez stuck his truck’s nose into the middle lane and inside of Matt Crafton‘s truck ahead of him. With the bumpers uneven, Sanchez turned Crafton, setting off the dreaded Big One and ending Crafton’s day 24th, while Sanchez ended seventh.
“I was doing my best to stay tight on the bottom lane,” Sanchez said in the post-race media bullpen. “Tried to go get split three-wide. We came up off of [turn] 2. I went to the top lane and I held my line, came back down. [I] tried to get out of there, but I got him in the left rear a little bit, but [that’s] plate racing, trying to hold my position to protect myself.”
Sanchez escaped Talladega three points above the playoff cutline heading into the elimination race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“To be above the cutline is amazing,” Sanchez said. “It’s pressure off myself and I think we’ll have a pretty good truck at Homestead.”
However, things didn’t end on the track; the action continued on pit road.
In the garage area, a fight broke out between Sanchez and Crafton where Sanchez was left with a bloody face and issued a warning to Crafton:
“I’m gonna f—— kill you in Homestead,” Sanchez shouted. “You f—– with the wrong guy, motherf——.”
“I’ll whip your ass,” Crafton replied. “I got you at Homestead, b—-.”
According to Sanchez, as he was walking to his hauler, Crafton poked him from behind and knocked him to the ground. Sanchez called it a “cheap shot.”
“I was walking back to the hauler, tap on my back, got punched in the face,” Sanchez said at the care center. “Cheap shot, but it is what it is, I guess. I’m all for fighting, but no cheap shots. He got a cheap shot, [I] didn’t really have a chance to get him back.”
One thing is certain: these two do not like each other right now and a rivalry certainly feels like it has been born.
About the author
Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.
Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime
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