Big Machine Racing Sets Driver Lineup for Remaining 2022 Races

Nicholas Sanchez

Getty Nicholas Sanchez closed out the 2022 season with Big Machine Racing.

Big Machine Racing has made a big move ahead of the trip to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The NASCAR Xfinity Series team has made Nicholas Sanchez its driver for the remaining races.

Sanchez, who finished 12th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was already scheduled to return to the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro for his hometown race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, the team has since confirmed that Sanchez will also close out the year with races at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.

Sanchez will cap off a 2022 Xfinity Series season that has featured several drivers behind the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro. This includes Jade Buford (nine starts), Marco Andretti (one start), Ross Chastain (two starts), Tyler Reddick (five starts), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (two starts), Kaz Grala (five starts), Parker Kligerman (one start), and Ty Dillon (one start).

Sanchez Joined Big Machine Racing After a Surprising Change

Xfinity Series

GettyBig Machine Racing has fielded competitive cars in 2022.

Sanchez started the 2022 season on a part-time schedule with BJ McLeod Motorsports. He made two starts for the Xfinity Series team while also pursuing an ARCA Menards Series championship, but he parted ways with the team in early July.

One week after parting ways with BJMM, Sanchez and Big Machine Racing announced that he had agreed to a four-race deal. This initial schedule featured fall races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Sanchez only finished 29th in his first start for Big Machine Racing, but he has since made significant strides. He finished 11th at Texas Motor Speedway — the same track where Tyler Reddick took the team to Victory Lane for the first time — and then he finished12th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sanchez will now take on Homestead-Miami Speedway, a track where he has no previous national series experience. However, both he and Big Machine Racing have showcased speed on intermediate tracks during the 2022 season.

Big Machine Has Examined Options for the Future

Nicholas Sanchez

GettyNicholas Sanchez will make 3 more starts in the No. 48.

Having Sanchez close out the 2022 season with two additional starts provides the reigning ARCA Menards Series champion with an opportunity to continue gaining experience. It also helps Big Machine Racing see him perform at a variety of tracks.

The second-year Xfinity Series team started out with one full-time driver before agreeing to an “enhanced partnership” with Richard Childress Racing. The team then decided early in the 2022 season to use a variety of drivers, but this was not the long-term plan.

Team owner Scott Borchetta told The Sports Credential during the IndyCar Series weekend in Nashville that Big Machine Racing is looking at having one full-time driver for the 2023 Xfinity Series season. Borchetta did not have any details at the time about which driver will be in control, nor did he provide any subtle hints.

Will Sanchez be on the shortlist? There is a possibility, especially with him keeping the No. 48 Chevrolet clean in his first three starts. The remaining races on his schedule could serve as an expanded audition of sorts.

Read More