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Is Nick Sanchez Becoming the Truck Series’ Newest Villain?

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What’s Happening?

The talk of the Truck Series last weekend was Nick Sanchez and Stewart Friesen’s post-race scuffle at Bristol Motor Speedway. On the most recent episode of “Pickup Throwdown” featuring Dale Tanhardt, Elly Productions, and yours truly, Joshua Lipowski, Tanhardt asked whether or not Sanchez is becoming the villain

  • Nick Sanchez’s run-in with Stewart Friesen at Bristol is not the first run-in he’s had with veteran drivers. He was involved in a post-race altercation with Matt Crafton at Talladega in the fall of 2023. Does this make him a villain, or, just a target for veterans?
  • The animosity between veterans and young drivers has been apparent in NASCAR throughout history. However, the debate has ramped up throughout recent years, with many Truck Series veterans criticizing the racing style of the younger generation.
  • Fans love drama between drivers. That has been the case since NASCAR was founded, and fans also love to hate certain drivers.

Listen to the Discussion Here:

Sanchez’s Run-Ins

Sanchez vs Craftson

Nick Snachez’s first run-in came at Talladega in 2023, when he and Matt Crafton made contact, triggering “The Big One” in the closing laps of the race. Crafton was involved, but Sanchez got away unscathed.

After the race, Crafton decided to express his displeasure by confronting Sanchez after the race. The video of the incident featuring a bloodied Nick Sanchez shouting “F-Bombs” can be seen below.

No one knows what exactly happened, but Sanchez claims that Crafton tapped Sanchez on the back and punched Sanchez after he turned around. Sanchez called the move a “Cheap shot”.

Crafton denied this occurred, instead claiming that Sanchez “Threatened” him in a thread on social media. Crafton also dove into the “lack of respect” he felt from drivers on the race track.

This incident seemed like more of a “Racing deal” like Sanchez claims, but, it’s understandable why Craftson was upset. It’s interesting to see how Crafton feels about the “Lack of Respect” he sees on the race track from other drivers.

Sanchez vs Friesen

This past weekend at Bristol, Sanchez and Stewart Friesen were racing closely for position in the final laps. Friesen came up on Sanchez off of turn four, and Friesen hit the wall as a result. Friesen then confronted Sanchez after the race, resulting in another altercation.

Sanchez took to social media after the incident, claiming he got “Fenched” late in the race. In fairness, Sanchez was there on the outside lane, and Friesen came up. Could Sanchez have been less aggressive? Maybe, but, it’s the final laps of a race.

Interestingly, it’s another veteran in Friesen that Sanchez had this run-in with. This sets up a pattern that is interesting in regards to the friction between generations of stock car drivers.

The Dissension Between Generations

It’s tough to call Sanchez a bonafide villain after just a couple of run-ins. Especially considering that these run-ins were not the result of dirty driving as much as it was aggressive driving late in the race and the fans don’t necessarily love to hate Sanchez. However, he is making enemies with the veteran drivers, which feeds into the recent trend of older drivers being frustrated with how young drivers race.

Kyle Busch said on the Pat McAfee show last week, “The younger generation is all about crashing before winning”. Matt Crafton has been particularly outspoken about it as well as we discussed earlier. Bubba Wallace spoke out about it after the Daytona race earlier this season saying the young drivers, “DO before they THINK”.

Two veterans have, intentionally or not, attempted to use Sanchez as the metaphorical and literal punching bag for this tension between the “Old School” and “New School”. However, Sanchez doesn’t back down, and he continues to race aggressively against these veteran drivers.

A villain? Maybe not amongst the fans yet, but, Sanchez may become the one wearing the black hat to veteran drivers.

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