Stock car drivers occasionally fight after races. Sometimes, they even fight after qualifying races. Those brouhahas rarely escalate into serious violence. After today's Truck Series race at Talladega, Nick Sanchez and Matt Crafton reportedly broke that tradition with a fight that left Sanchez dripping blood.
— Frontstretch (@Frontstretch) September 30, 2023
A video captured by a contributor to Frontstretch shows only the aftermath of the fight, which apparently involved Sanchez and Crafton. In the clip, Sanchez and another person are being held on the ground and pulled away from each other after some sort of altercation. Sanchez, with a visibly bloodied face, repeatedly declares "I am going to f**king kill you at Homestead" as he's pulled away by impressively calm fellow driver Cory Roper, adding "you f**ked with the wrong guy, motherf**ker."
— Noah Lewis (@Noah_Lewis1) September 30, 2023
After being released from the in-field care center, Sanchez gave a more calm recollection of the fight:
"I was walking back to the hauler, tapped on my back, got punched in the face. 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 and didn't really have a chance to get him back. It is what it is, it's part of racing."
A NASCAR driver has not been officially punished for their actions in a post-race altercation since 2016, when John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher were each fined for their involvement in a tussle during a Truck Series race. After Sanchez's accusation of a sudden, unprompted punch and his recorded threats after the fight, that precedent will likely change this week.
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