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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Nick Sanchez Comes Alive Late to Win at Charlotte

Nick Sanchez

Nick Sanchez holding up the trophy after winning the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2024 (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

CONCORD, N.C. — After two stages of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway had passed, it seemed like Corey Heim was going to cruise to another win after sweeping both stages.

During the third stage of the race, however, based on how the cautions were falling, different strategies played out and the race looked to be in Kaden Honeycutt’s hands. Honeycutt was running down race leader Christian Eckes, who did not know if he had the fuel to make it to the checkered flag, when a caution came out with just 15 laps to go.

Under caution, both Heim and Honeycutt came down pit road and endured prolonged stops due to equipment malfunctions. This opened up an opportunity for an upset winner.

The race restarted with only nine laps to go, and the front row featured points leader Eckes and Stefan Parsons. At the start/finish line, Parsons spun the tires, allowing Eckes to shoot into the lead.

Eckes began to run away from the field but Nick Sanchez, who restarted in Row 4, surged down the back straightaway and took the lead away by the front straightaway.

Behind Sanchez was Heim, who made his way back up to second place and began to close in on the lead. In the closing laps, Heim was not able to get close enough to make the pass for the win and Sanchez held on for his second win of the season.

“It’s awesome — my No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet,” Sanchez said. “What can I say more about this (No. 2 Rev Racing) team?”

The day started off with a bit of a struggle for Sanchez, qualifying 16th and only earning two stage points during the race, but the truck kept getting better as the race went along.

“We started off bad. It didn’t affect us,” said Sanchez. “We went to work. We put ourselves in a position when it mattered most.”

Sanchez also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the first race of the Triple Truck Challenge event this season.

The win was emotional for Sanchez’s truck chief Chris Showalter, who was celebrating both his birthday and 700th career race in the Craftsman Truck Series. Showalter has been a part of every Truck Series event since the inaugural season in 1995.

“This is for Chris Showalter, my car chief,” Sanchez said. “Birthday today, 700th truck start. This is for him, and it’s great to get number two.”

Nick Sanchez

Nick Sanchez celebrating in Victory Lane after winning at Charlotte (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

Heim, who dominated the majority of the race, initially finished second before getting disqualified for having three loose lug nuts following the race. During the final stop of the race, Heim’s crew had trouble with the lug nuts, costing him not only the win but a finish entirely.

As a result, everyone moved up one position in the running order and Heim dropped to 36th place.

Stewart Friesen, Grant Enfinger, Matt Mills and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top five.

Another upsetting story of the race was Kaden Honeycutt, who runs part-time for Niece Motorsports in the No. 45 truck. Coming off a career-best finish of fourth at Kansas, Honeycutt carried that momentum and ran in the top five all race long. He found himself in a position to win until the late-race caution came out with only 15 laps to go.

A slow pit stop followed and Honeycutt was only able to recover to finish in seventh place.

“It was a heartbreaker again,” Honeycutt said after the race. “Nothing much we can do. Just try to come back next year and claim what’s ours.”

“We’re going to keep on fighting and we’re going to come home with a win this year, I know we will,” said Honeycutt.

Jake Garcia came home in sixth place and after Honeycutt, the top 10 was rounded out by Connor Mosack, Dean Thompson and Eckes.

Stage 1 Top 10 Finishers

  1. Kaden Honeycutt
  2. Tanner Gray
  3. Rajah Caruth
  4. Ty Majeski
  5. Layne Riggs
  6. Chase Purdy
  7. Dean Thompson
  8. Ben Rhodes
  9. Connor Mosack
  10. Bayley Currey

Stage 2 Top 10 Finishers

  1. Tanner Gray
  2. Chase Purdy
  3. Kaden Honeycutt
  4. Dean Thompson
  5. Ty Majeski
  6. Layne Riggs
  7. Connor Mosack
  8. Nick Sanchez
  9. Daniel Dye
  10. Taylor Gray

North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Results

Finish Start Truck No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 16 2 Nick Sanchez Gainbridge Chevrolet Running
2 12 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar International Toyota Running
3 17 9 Grant Enfinger Grant County Mulch Chevrolet Running
4 15 42 Matt Mills JF Electric/Utilitra Chevrolet Running
5 13 99 Ben Rhodes Campers Inn RV Ford Running
6 18 13 Jake Garcia Quanta Services Ford Running
7 9 45 Kaden Honeycutt RDC Shoe Company Chevrolet Running
8 7 7 Connor Mosack Pinnacle Racing Group Chevrolet Running
9 11 5 Dean Thompson Thompson Pipe Group Toyota Running
10 35 19 Christain Eckes NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Running
11 25 66 (R) Conner Jones TSPORT Ford Running
12 14 17 Taylor Gray JBL Toyota Running
13 6 77 Chase Purdy Bama Buggies Chevrolet Running
14 27 32 Bret Holmes Precision Garage Door Chevrolet Running
15 19 1 Brett Moffitt Destiny Homes Toyota Running
16 4 71 Rajah Caruth Chevrolet Running
17 1 15 Tanner Gray Dead On Tools Toyota Running
18 29 02 Mason Massey RANDCO Industries Chevrolet Running
19 36 43 Daniel Dye Champion Container Chevrolet Running
20 30 76 Spencer Boyd A&M Premier Roofing Chevrolet Running
21 8 91 Jack Wood Cometic Gasket/Klotz Chevrolet Running
22 26 56 Timmy Hill Coble Enterprises/UNITS Toyota Running
23 3 98 Ty Majeski Soda Sense/Curb Records Ford Running
24 20 25 Ty Dillon Rackley Roofing Chevrolet Running
25 23 75 Stefan Parsons Chevrolet Running
26 10 41 Bayley Currey Foundation for Pops Chevrolet Running
27 24 21 Mason Maggio US Off Market Real Estate Deals Ford Running
28 5 38 Layne Riggs (R) Infinity Communications Group Ford Running
29 28 20 Memphis Villarreal Laredo Trailer Supply Chevrolet Running
30 21 33 Lawless Alan AUTOChargeit Ford Brakes
31 22 88 Matt Crafton Chi Chis/Menards Ford Running
32 34 18 Tyler Ankrum LiUNA! Chevrolet Accident
33 32 46 Thad Moffitt (R) Customers Bank Chevrolet Accident
34 33 22 Keith McGee More Core Drilling Services Ford Accident
35 31 67 Jeffrey Earnhardt Forgotten Coast K9 Toyota Accident
36 2 11 Corey Heim Safelite Toyota Running

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