The Slow Lane: Daddy Issues, NASCAR Makes Right Call To Suspend Nick Sanchez’s Father

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

Looking back on the fight between Matt Crafton and Nick Sanchez, I have a few reservations about NASCAR fining either of them but I understand the decision. What I have trouble wrapping my head around is the fanbase proclaiming Sanchez as a saint, who was victimized by the evil Crafton. However, the most egregious aspect of the situation was that “Daddy Sanchez” felt the need to jump in.

Sure, Crafton can be gruff at times. He even lit me up once when I wasn’t paying attention and called him Paul Menard, repeatedly. I am not sure who should have been more offended, him or Menard, but I’ve never made that mistake, again.

My interaction with Sanchez has been limited to a few media opportunities but he seemed like a nice guy. Notice, I didn’t say “kid.” That’s because Sanchez has been an adult for the past five years, or so. He can fight for his country, smoke cigarettes if he chooses, drink alcohol legally and drive a racecar at nearly 200 mph. He should also be able to fight his own battles without Daddy helping him out.

Whether Crafton “sucker punched” Sanchez after the on-track incident at Talladega Superspeedway is debatable. Crafton has one side of the story and Sanchez has another. In fact, since the cameras weren’t rolling it’s unknown just how threatened Crafton felt being challenged by Nick and Rene Sanchez. Somewhere there is the truth about exactly what happened. However, I don’t much care about the fight between the two drivers. This, by no means all-inclusive list below, proves there have been many drivers come to blows through the years.

Brad Keselowski vs. Jeff Gordon

Kyle Busch vs. Joey Logano

Greg Biffle vs. Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick vs. Jimmie Johnson

Ty Gibbs vs. Sam Mayer

Clint Bowyer vs. Ryan Newman

Daniel Suarez vs Michael McDowell

Denny Hamlin vs. Joey Logano

Noah Gragson vs. Ross Chastain

Daniel Hemric vs. Noah Gragson

Ross Chastain vs. Brendan Gaughan

Ross Chastain vs. Joey Gase

Matt Kenseth vs. Brad Keselowski

The common denominator with each of the above fights, aside from the fact neither driver was penalized by NASCAR, is that no one’s dad jumped in to save, or assist, anyone.

NASCAR has not penalized driver-on-driver combat since John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher went WWE on the frontstretch at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2016. And that has been a good trend.

After reading hundreds of social media reactions to the situation and in response to posts from Crafton’s side and Sanchez’s side, it seems some people are overlooking that Sanchez caused a wreck that severely injured another driver. It also appears taboo to “sucker punch” someone but fighting two-on-one is just fine.

Greg Van Alst was taken to an area hospital and diagnosed with a fractured vertebra due to the very same accident that Crafton was upset about. It also wasn’t the first time Sanchez has caused an accident and it won’t be the last. He seems to be a repeat offender in the on-track poor choices department. His off-track choices weren’t the greatest at Talladega, either.

Greg van alst fractured a vertebra after being in a crash caused by nick sanchez. Photo by christian koelle/kickin' the tires
Greg Van Alst took a hard impact and suffered a fractured vertebra in a crash caused by Nick Sanchez. Photo by Christian Koelle/Kickin’ the Tires

I guess he gets it honestly, since it was an even dumber move for his dad to interject himself in a fight between drivers, even if his son was on the receiving end of getting his butt kicked. The elder Sanchez had no business getting involved. Yes, Nick is his son and parents want to defend their children but as I have already pointed out, Nick is not a child. He is a grown adult.

The decision by Rene Sanchez to take a swing at Crafton was far worse than two drivers going after each other post-race. He should consider himself very lucky that his suspension from NASCAR is only until the season is over.

8 thoughts on “The Slow Lane: Daddy Issues, NASCAR Makes Right Call To Suspend Nick Sanchez’s Father

  1. Apparently this author didn’t see the wreck. Sanchez went to the middle,Crafton made a late block and that caused the wreck. It’s talladega, things happen. They say,”boys have at it” then fine those that do. I love racing and was a low tier driver but nascar has almost ruined big time racing. Time to stick to other racing and skip the nascar soap opera.

  2. Sanchez should not have been fined. Clearly on Crafton. Unknown guy writing for clicks without researching.
    As I recall, Logano’s dad got into it years ago after Harvick wrecked him and was suspended.

  3. This is the most accurate account i have seen.I am concerned that Sanchez vowed to kill Crafton. As you mentioned,Sanchez is a legal man and broke the law by threatening he was going to kill Crafton.Most people would have been charged with Terroristic Threatening..Bad Call by Nascar. I am not surprised.

  4. 100% Crafton’s fault. He chose to cut back across where there was no room. I’m not sure why it is wrong for Nick’s father or any friend or family member to help defend someone under attack. When Crafton parked in the pit stall I knew he was looking for a fight. He needs to keep himself under control.

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