NASCAR competition officials issued behavioral penalties Tuesday to Craftsman Truck Series drivers Matt Crafton and Nick Sanchez for their roles in a post-race altercation last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Crafton, driver of the ThorSport Racing No. 88 Ford, was fined $25,000 for his actions in a fight after Saturday’s Love‘s RV Stop 250. Sanchez, a rookie in the No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet, was fined $5,000. Sanchez’s father, Rene, was also penalized for his involvement in the fracas, with officials suspending him from NASCAR for the remaining two races on the 2023 schedule.
Crafton and Sanchez made contact in the closing laps of Saturday’s playoff event, sparking a multitruck incident. Sanchez continued to a seventh-place finish, but Crafton’s race ended after 91 of the 99 laps because of terminal damage to his No. 88 entry.
Crafton — who was unhurt — stopped in Sanchez’s pit stall, dismounted, then directed harsh words toward the No. 2 team as he walked back to the garage. Post-race, witnesses said Crafton confronted Sanchez and punches flew. The rookie, bloodied by what he called a “cheap shot,” then made violent threats to Crafton, promising retribution in the tour’s next race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR officials also penalized driver Chandler Smith for a violation during Saturday’s Cup Series Qualifying of Section 126.96.36.199.F, which has the heading of Driver Protective Clothing/Equipment. The safety infraction — in this case, failure to wear a required head sock and/or helmet skirt — resulted in a $10,000 fine to Smith, who finished a career-best 11th in his third Cup Series start.