Talladega Superspeedway sign Sep 30, 2023; Talladega, Alabama, USA; General view of the pack passing a Talladega sign during the LoveÕs RV Stop 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Sanchez and Matt Crafton were involved in a post-race fight Saturday that left Sanchez with a bloodied face and hurling threats at his rival.

The fight took place in the garage following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The two drivers traded blows before being separated.

Sanchez explained what happened.

“I was walking back to the hauler, got a tap on my back, got punched in the face,” Sanchez told reporters after being treated and released from the infield care center. “Cheap shot, but it is what it is I guess. I’m all for fighting, but no cheap shots, and I got a cheap shot. Never really had a chance to get him back, but it is what it is. It’s part of racing.”

Sanchez caused Crafton to crash on lap 93, which led to an exchange of words between the pit crews. That’s when the fight started.

“I heard a little bit about it but not a lot,” Sanchez said of the pit-road exchange. “It’s Talladega. It’s plate racing. I mean yeah, it was an aggressive move I made, but I held my line, right? It is what it is and it happens every year.”

Sanchez said he didn’t need any stitches. “No, I think they just glued my face and a slight break over here, I don’t know,” gesturing to the tip of his nose. “But I’m fine.”

NASCAR is looking into the incident, so expect at least fines to come, possibly more. Meanwhile, Crafton tried to explain his side of the story on X (formerly Twitter).

According to him, Sanchez threatened him.

“First, let’s address the “sucker punch.” Before the cameras started rolling I approached Nick and said “hey” when he turned around I said “what the —?!” to which he looked right at me and threatened me.”

Crafton then went on to say he felt justified in what he did because of what Sanchez did to him. It will be interesting to see if NASCAR feels the same way.

{Matt Crafton, NASCAR.com}

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.