Nick Sanchez Earns First Truck Win At Daytona As Taylor Gray Flips On Backstretch

Nick Sanchez Earns First Truck Win At Daytona As Taylor Gray Flips On Backstretch

by February 17, 2024 1 comment

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Nick Sanchez captured his first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night as 12 trucks crashed on the final lap, and Taylor Gray flipped down the backstretch.

The Fresh From Florida 250 saw a record 12 cautions as drivers battled hard to reach Victory Lane at the World Center of Racing, and in the end, the race came down to a NASCAR Overtime finish.

When the field made its way out of Turn 2 for the final time, Sanchez had a commanding lead, but chaos ensued behind him. Rajah Caruth who was running fourth at the time, slid up the track and into Jack Wood who then clipped Gray. With nowhere to go, 12 truck piled up. Heavy door side contact to Gray’s truck sent him up and over several trucks. When the smoke and sparks settled, it was Sanchez out front winning the biggest race of his career.

“Pretty surreal, especially with how the race started,” Sanchez said. “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. Big thanks to Rev Racing, Inspire, Max Seigel, Gainbridge Dan Towriss, everyone that helps us, and it’s definitely going to be a good year.”

While the win marked Sanchez first in the series, it’s also Rev Racing’s first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory as well. This season, Rev Racing is celebrating 20 years of the Drive For Diversity program, and Sanchez is the most experienced driver on the organization’s roster.

“Yeah, I definitely think it’s big, and obviously Max, I’ve been with Max since 2017 in Legends cars, so we’ve come up through the ranks together from grass-roots all the way to here,” Sanchez said. “This is his first win in the Truck Series. It’s pretty cool because I know it’s just going to put more eyes on Rev Racing, more eyes on the program, and showing that it works and it’s proven, and now our goal is to do it on Sundays.”

Friday night’s victory was also Chevrolet’s 100th points-paying NASCAR Daytona victory as well.

“To earn 100 NASCAR wins at Daytona International Speedway is a monumental achievement in Chevy’s storied racing history,” said Scott Bell, Vice President, Global Chevrolet. “On behalf of everyone at Chevrolet, thank you to all the drivers and teams who have contributed wins over the years that brought us to this milestone. Chevrolet is proud to be the winningest manufacturer at one of NASCAR’s most iconic venues.”

Corey Heim survived the last-lap chaos to finish second in the TRICON Garage No. 11 Safelite Toyota. The effort is Heim best in three races at Daytona, and he did so after starting in 26th.

“That was crazy to see in my mirror,” Heim said. “It looked bad. Second of all, what an S-h-i-t show. That was crazy. I never avoided so many wrecks in my life. I can’t believe I have a clean truck. I’m not going to complain about it. It’s truck racing; it happens. Super proud of TRICON Garage and Toyota Racing.”

Finishing third was Caruth, driver of the Spire Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet. The strong effort marked Caruth’s best-ever finish in 28 series starts. Prior to Friday night, Caruth’s best finish was sixth (Darlington & Bristol, 2023). At the end of the night, Caruth had an opportunity to win but came up short due to the last-lap crash.

“I feel pretty bad about the backstretch there,” Caruth said. “Corey (Heim) was doing a great job pushing, and you hate to see trucks get torn up like that. Sucks to be that close, but definitely happy for Nick. He’s been deserving for a long time, and great for the company.

Bret Holmes and Spencer Boyd finished fourth and fifth. Rounding out the top-10 was Stefan Parsons, Matt Crafton, Timmy Hill, Bryan Dauzat and Christian Eckes.

Johnny Sauter won Stage 1 and Tyler Ankrum won Stage 2.

Throughout the night, there were 24 lead changes among 12 drivers. Sanchez led a race high of 26 laps.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will visit Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 24 for the Fr8 208. Live coverage will broadcast on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Mithcell White/

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