Nick Sanchez opens 2024 NASCAR season with wreck-filled win in Truck Series at Daytona

Shane Connuck, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Nick Sanchez is the first NASCAR race winner of 2024.

The Craftsman Truck Series picked up right where it left off. The race was stopped for cautions 12 times, the most in series history at Daytona International Speedway.

The final carnage came in overtime, while Sanchez was holding a healthy lead on the last lap. Taylor Gray and Jack Wood spun, with Gray catching air as the rest of the field got caught up in a 12-car wreck.

This is the first win of the 22-year-old driver’s career.

Ben Rhodes, the Truck Series’ defending champion, lost his right rear tire on Lap 73. He moved toward the middle lane and quickly slipped farther and farther back, eventually colliding with Tanner Gray and Toni Breidinger.


Observations from Friday’s Truck Series opener

— The race set the Truck Series record at Daytona with 12 cautions. After eight of 12 cautions in last year’s Truck Series championship race at Phoenix came during the final stage and overtime, the wrecks came even earlier in the series’ 2024 debut. Rhodes’ caution came after 12 uninterrupted laps, which was the longest green-flag run of the race.

— Even Friday night’s Truck Series race couldn’t escape the rain. Despite a beautiful day in Daytona Beach when rain wasn’t expected until early Saturday morning, a drizzle toward the end of Stage 2 prompted a caution and eventual red flag. Drivers stayed in their cars and resumed racing within about 15 minutes. There’s more than a 90% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

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