Motorsport News

‘It Hurts with How Close You Were’

Nick Sanchez' No. 2 truck racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NKP

HAMPTON, Ga. – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Nick Sanchez simply hung his head next to his No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado on Saturday (March 18) after the series’ race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The 21-year-old Miami native was less than half a lap away from earning his first career Truck Series win before he was overtaken in the final corner for the lead.

It resulted in a runner-up finish for the young racer, which is impressive by most standards, but he still couldn’t help but wonder what could’ve been.

“I mean, it feels good, but it hurts with how close you were,” Sanchez said on the Atlanta frontstretch. “But, you know, it is what it is. 

“That’s racing.”

It all happened so quickly, too.

With a huge push coming to the white flag, Sanchez launched around series veteran Christian Eckes and was out front unchallenged heading onto the backstretch.

But Eckes, still on his bumper, darted low, faked out the young 21-year-old rookie and went high with a full head of steam right to the door panel of Sanchez’s No. 2. Sanchez slid sideways for a moment as the two ran for the line but saved it. However, his momentary slide cost him enough momentum for Eckes to get a nose ahead as a caution flag waved for a crash behind them.

NASCAR fans held their breath as they awaited the official decision for who won, but it was only seconds until it was announced that Eckes had been awarded the win.

Sanchez, who won the ARCA Menards Series Championship in 2022, could only reflect on what he could have done differently.

“I was a little slow to react in my spot,” Sanchez said. “[I’m] just learning where these trucks are. I could have done a better job reacting to the [No.] 19. I probably should have blocked the top.

“I would have went back and done that.”

While it was only a nose between Sanchez and victory, he also came up just short of the first Truck win for his team Rev Racing, which has embarked on its first full season in the series.

And despite coming up just short of its first win, team president Max Siegel had nothing but good things to say about his driver.

“He’s doing all the right things to be successful,” Siegel said. “He’s the first one in the shop, the last one to leave. He just loves this sport.

“This was a foreshadow of what’s to come.”

Sanchez and Rev Racing’s…

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