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Is Nick Sanchez Headed for the Cup Series?

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What’s Happening?

Nick Sanchez is enjoying a breakout season in the No. 2 car for Rev Racing. With two wins in the first 13 races and sitting third in the points standings, the next question for Sanchez becomes, when does he move up to the Cup Series?

  • Nick Sanchez is in his second full-time season in the Craftsman Truck Series. He has worked through the NASCAR ranks at Rev Racing through NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.
  • For Sanchez to be a legitimate Cup Series contender, the right opportunity needs to open up for him. Could an opportunity open up for Sanchez in the Cup Series?
  • Fans are intrigued by Nick Sanchez and think he has great potential as a driver. However, many think it’s a bit too soon to jump to the top level of the sport.

Is Sanchez Ready to Jump Up to Cup?

Sanchez is in his second full-time season in the Craftsman Truck Series. It’s very rare for drivers to go straight from Trucks to Cup after only two full-time seasons. Of the 12 current Cup Series drivers to debut in the 2020s, only two have spent two or fewer full-time seasons in the lower series (Josh Berry and Ty Gibbs).

Berry was a special case since he was over 30 years old and was already a racing veteran, competing primarily in late models. Gibbs was also unique because he already had 11 Xfinity Series wins and a Championship after his first full-time season. Combine that with Kyle Busch’s No. 18 seat unexpectedly becoming available, and Gibbs was pushed to Cup probably a year or two sooner than expected.

Most drivers have between three and four years of full-time experience in the lower series before moving up to the Cup Series. Of the 12 drivers on the grid in 2024 who debuted this decade, eight (75%) spent this amount of time in the lower series.

Sanchez is only 23 years old, and he’s in his second season in the Truck Series. Maybe he could race in the Cup Series, but what’s the need to rush him? Denny Hamlin had this to say about the debate between drivers running in the lower series and winning races or getting Cup Series experience in the middle or back of the pack.

Getting in the right situation matters. If you just take the first thing that comes your way, it can sometimes lead to it being a bad look for you…I am definitely of the opinion that winning on Friday or Saturday is better than running 25th on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin

Where Can Sanchez Go?

There isn’t a good situation open for Sanchez in 2025. The best currently open seats already have plenty of drivers vying for them, and Sanchez hasn’t been in those conversations.

Maybe Kaulig Racing and Rick Ware Racing could have some opportunities, but is that the best situation for Sanchez? He’d go from a race-win contending Truck Series team to Cup Series teams that sit outside the top 25 in owner’s points.

Sanchez could jump up to Xfinity, but Cup Series teams are more willing now to bring drivers up from Trucks straight to Cup. Examples include Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith on the 2024 grid.

Maybe he could move into a Spire-specific truck instead of being with Rev Racing, potentially to make room at Rev for current ARCA Menards Series points leader, Andres Perez. That’s possible, but it wouldn’t change much for Sanchez, as he’s already with a Spire-affiliated team.

Looking ahead to 2026, it’s tough to predict which rides will come open for Sanchez. Maybe Spire has an opening if Corey LaJoie or Carson Hocevar moves on. However, we must wait to see how everything plays out before speculating too far.

Overall, Sanchez is doing fine in the Craftsman Truck Series, and there’s no reason to rush him upwards too quickly. Maybe next year, a great opportunity could open up, but time will tell.

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