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Fans React To Matt Crafton / Nick Sanchez Fight: Should There Be Official Consequences?

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Following the brawl which broke out after the Talladega Truck Race, fans took to Reddit to let their opinions known.

Following the brawl heard around the NASCAR world after yesterday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, fans have been far from sheepish letting everyone know what they think and how they think NASCAR ought to go about disciplining the drivers involved.

While most fans come down staunchly on one side of the incident, there are a handful of detractors. That said, a vast majority of fans seem to be calling for a Matt Crafton suspension, the duration of which varies from person to person.

Let’s take a look at the incident itself as well as driver comments and what the people are saying, shall we?

An Incident In Review

Full disclosure: the entirety of the altercation was not caught on camera, only the last little bit where you can see a bloodied Nick Sanchez being restrained as he and presumably Matt Crafton shout obscenities at one another. That’s what we have to work with. There is another video out there but it doesn’t really shed any more light on the situation. All we really have is this video, Sanchez’s comments immediately after this, as well as what Crafton posted this morning on Twitter. Here is the best footage we have of the altercation:

The disagreement was first sparked after this on-track incident which appears to be, simply, two trucks racing in the final laps at Talladega, arguing for the same space.

Sanchez Speaks Out

After the checkered flag, Sanchez gave an interview for the FOX Sports crew where he described the wreck as a “racing deal”. The alleged incident is said to have occurred shortly after that interview. After the tussle, Sanchez was evaluated by the Talladega infield care center where they supposedly glued shut his wounds. Bob Pockrass, our friends at Frontstretch Media, and several others caught up with Sanchez after being released. He had this to say:

Crafton Responds

The viewers knew that Crafton was fuming after the wreck as he went to Sanchez’s pit stall and parked his truck, shown below in footage provided by NASCAR on FOX.

Though not initially willing to give an interview in the immediate aftermath of the altercation, Crafton took to Twitter on the morning of October 1st, 2023 to explain his actions. The following is what he said:

Craton’s retelling of events differs greatly from the story as it was told last night. Hopefully, NASCAR will collect all the data necessary to make a well-informed decision on the incident and dish out penalties accordingly.

In The Stands

As mentioned earlier, this out-right slobber knocker of a brawl was heard around the NASCAR world and many fans weren’t sheepish in letting everyone know exactly what they think on the matter and what actions NASCAR should take moving forward. Specifically, for this section of the article, I want to look at this Reddit thread that was created by the user Dark_Knight2000.

The user broke down the incident, listed some recent NASCAR suspensions, and weighed them on a scale of severity, comparing them to what Crafton has allegedly done. This sparked an interesting chain of discussion amongst fans about what is and is not acceptable.

TywinShitsGold in response posted the following, pointing out that the biggest issue that many fans are hung up on (and you will see more of this throughout this thread) is that the alleged attack happened 30-45 minutes after the conclusion of the race. The main point fans seem to cite here is that if it happened immediately after the incident, a lot more would be forgiven. But, since Crafton seemingly had time to cool down, that presents a problem.

Shadow_Six compares Crafton’s actions to “psycho shit”.

TurtleRockDuane says that Crafton “dishonored” himself, aside from all the talk about assault and battery. BillfredL doesn’t believe that the honor vs. dishonor argument is even necessary.

BillfredL claims that Crafton’s actions, with the cool-down time taken into account, are premeditated, which changes the narrative, in their view, drastically.

bulbous_oar brings up the Chase Elliott/Bubba Wallace right-hook controversies from the last two seasons and claims that those sorts of offenses should be a lesser crime than this incident. Those two on-track incidences resulted in Elliott and Wallace being suspended for one race each. Should NASCAR be more severe in this incident?

jpGrind calls for punishment “on and off” the track.

ManfredsJuicedBalls brings up the Jimmy Spencer incident 20 years ago, which saw Spencer, who was on probation and blackened Kurt Busch’s eye, a week-long NASCAR suspension. He also says that if a multiple-race suspension is in the cards, it will only last to the end of the ’23 season. BeefInGR points out that the reason the Spencer suspension was so severe was because a Michigan State Police Officer was in the vicinity of the incident, threatening to put Spencer in jail.

amrst3 brings up the Bubba/Larson incident from last year and compares it to the Crafton/Sanchez incident, which they believe is a bigger crime. They do point out, however, that in the Austin Hill/Myatt Snider altercation, nothing was done. Fecesjohnson points out that the Snider/Hill altercation was immediately after the race. They say that the Crafton/Sanchez incident is apples to oranges in comparison.

Another comparison to Bubba and Chase. Specialist-Two2068 says that those incidents were not quite as egregious as what went down between Crafton and Sanchez.

colossuskiddx suggests suspending Crafton for the rest of the season and making him take anger management classes. AsbestosAnt says that this is the most realistic potential outcome.

sirwillow77 again uses the premeditated argument, saying also that there is room for Sanchez to file assault charges. It will be interesting for sure if that happens. Historically, NASCAR is harsher when authorities get involved.

Mike__o compares this incident to ones in the past with some big-name drivers and says that it’s categorically different. This isn’t Mayer vs. Gibbs, those are fights. In their eyes, this is assault. They then go on to compare this incident with Hill vs. Snyder and Wallace vs. Larson, which they also call assault. They think Crafton should be suspended and subject to criminal charges.

Let us know what the rest of you out there think, Daily Downforce readers! Give us a shoutout on all our social media platforms! And keep it right here for all your latest news, stories, and discussions in the world of our favorite sport!

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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