Nick Sanchez faded out of competitiveness in the closing laps before winning the ARCA Menards Series event at Talladega on Saturday.
When the 76-lap race resumed on Lap 64, ARCA officials stated that the event will be stopped at the next flag owing to time restraints.
With a nudge from Sanchez, Corey Heim raced to the top, but Sanchez was soon overtaken in the middle of the lane and dropped to seventh place.
Sanchez had fought his way back to the front on Lap 68 and had assisted Daniel Dye take the lead, but he was spun by Heim, resulting in a warning and the race being called off. When the caution came out, Sanchez was just a hair ahead of Heim for the lead, and he was proclaimed the winner after 68 laps.
Sanchez’s 2nd ARCA victory in 25 career starts. Previous season, the 20-year-old Miami native, who is a part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity programme, earned the Kansas race.
“They told me the last caution was going to end (the race) so I was driving pretty aggressive and trying to get to the front before someone wrecked,” Sanchez said. “It was kind of every man for himself right there.
“At the end there, I went with my teammate (Rajah Caruth) but I kind of threw the plans I thought I had away. I probably wouldn’t have made some of those moves that I did.”
Second place went to Bret Holmes, third to Heim, fourth to Thad Moffitt, and fifth to Gus Dan.
“That’s just a joke,” Heim said about ARCA’s call on ending the race. “It’s kind of ridiculous.”
On Lap 49, a multi-car collision happened on the frontstretch, and as vehicles scattered over the infield, Scott Melton’s No. 69 ploughed into Eric Caudell’s back seat.
When the No. 69 came to a halt in the field, safety crews had to use the ‘Jaws of Life’ to tear the roof off the car and free Melton. As he was being loaded into an ambulance, he was put on a stretcher and seemed to be conversing with security personnel.
Melton was later declared in steady state at a medical centre after sustaining a compound fracture in his left leg, according to a Kimmel Racing spokeswoman.
After a 17-minute red flag, the race restarted.
Melton was sent to a medical centre for additional evaluation after the race, according to officials.
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