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Nick Sanchez is a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver, but there's much more to him than that.

Nicholas Sanchez, or just Nick, is the first driver of Hispanic descent to come out of the Miami area — and NASCAR hopes he’s the first of many. For a 21-year-old (soon to be 22 in June), he’s off to a really good start in stock-car racing, capturing the ARCA Menards Series title last year, and already registering two top-10 finishes in six starts this year in the Craftsman Truck Series, including a runner-up effort at Atlanta.

But the stats aren’t the only thing Sanchez would want you to know, nor does he want anyone to get stuck only on the fact that he’s part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

His background is an interesting story though, nonetheless. His father was only eight years old when he was a part of the historic 1980 Mariel boatlift from Cuba, the event when dictator Fidel Castro opened the Cuban harbors and let boats come in from the United States to take relatives out of the crumbling country. Many of the Cuban refugees relocated to Miami.

Childhood Racing

Homestead-Miami Speedway — the present-day track NASCAR races on — was the home to some of the earliest driving experiences Sanchez had. He was 12 years old racing go-karts when things really got rolling. He has since moved to Charlotte, N.C., the epicenter of NASCAR — something many (if not most) young drivers do.

“If you go back even further, from the time that I first strapped into a go-kart at Homestead [Miami Speedway] at 12 years old, this was the goal,” Sanchez noted in an interview with Kickin’ the Tires. “We didn’t know what the timeline was at that point … of course, but we knew the goal.”

First Shot at the Big Time

Rev Racing, an organization run by Max Siegel (former DEI brass), mostly gives chances to members of the Drive for Diversity Program mentioned above. Sanchez has driven all six races so far with Rev Racing/Kyle Busch Motorsports (the two teams have a partnership). He is slated to run all 23 races and compete for the 2023 championship.

RevRacing is the entity that brought him to the ARCA Menards Series (the overall series and also the East and West divisions). He has had a lot of success at that level, and last year he raced a partial schedule in the Xfinity Series with Big Machine Racing and B.J. McLeod Motorsports, notching a top 10 at Martinsville in the second to last race of 2022.

“I always knew that if everything worked out, getting to this level could potentially happen,” Sanchez told Kickin’ the Tires. “To see it all come together is the amazing part.

“My goal was always to get to Trucks or higher, but I always want to be in the best position to win races … and that’s what excites me about this opportunity with Rev Racing, is that I feel I’m in that kind of a position to be able to go out and perform. With that being said, though, it’s mind-boggling to actually be here now. It’s really wild.”

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Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
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