RPW Column: Another Dream Checked Off The Bucket List; Daniel Sanchez To Compete In 2020 Chili Bowl

RPW Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – AVERILL PARK, NY – There are just some races that every driver wants to compete in. Daytona. Indy. Super DIRT Week, and even the Chili Bowl Nationals.

For one young racer with ties to the Capital Region of New York, Daniel Sanchez, he’ll get that opportunity this coming January to compete in the internationally-known Midget event in Tulsa, OK as part of Mounce Motorsports.

A few weeks ago, just by fate, a friend of Daniel’s happen to be scrolling through Twitter and found a post from the Mounce team that they had an seat available for this year’s event. Sanchez didn’t waste any time.

“I have a friend who crews for Brady Bacon,” Sanchez said. “He sent me the Mounce Motorsports post from Twitter so I sent them a message and we got to talking.”

After some discussions, a deal was put together that will see the University of Northeastern Ohio (UNOH) student strap into the team’s #00s Midget. For Sanchez, this seems like a dream.

“I am beyond excited for the chance to run at the Chili Bowl,” he said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m not going to be taking it for granted. I’m going to learn as much as possible and take full use of this chance.”

With a projected 300+ entries trying to make the 24-car starting A-Main field, let alone win the 34th annual event, Sanchez is keeping his excitement in perspective.

“Obviously the goal is to be as competitive as possible,” he said. “However, when there’s that many drivers trying to make the A-main, we just want to have fun and be respectable.”

Sanchez has allowed himself to consider some talent he’ll be competing against at the Tulsa Expo Center that week.

“I’m going to be trying to qualify for an event against the likes of Sammy Swindell, Rico Abreu, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell,” he said. “We’re looking to keep our nose clean, learn as much as possible and hopefully make some noise with the big dogs.”

Sponsorship for the car will come from a lot of businesses that use to watch the fourth-generation driver at the Lebanon Valley Speedway.

“Silly’s Competition Engines, The Gorman’s, Cedar Peaks Enterprises, Snap-On (Chris Morris) and Danny Sanchez Contracting are backing our efforts,” he said. “I am so thankful for their support.”

It’s that support, along with other marketing partners, that has helped the Averill Park, NY driver transition to racing, and winning, in the Midwest at tracks like Limaland, Montpellier and Eldora. It also has allowed him to experience things he’s only imagined about.

“I have dreams and they all seem to help make them reality for me,” he said. “They are absolutely amazing. When word got out that this was a possibility, there was no waiting…all wanted to be on board. It took just shy of 48 hours to put the needed sponsorship together. I can’t thank them enough.”

With Rob Yetman also competing in this year’s Chili Bowl, Lebanon Valley and Northeast racing fans will have plenty to root for during the 34th Chili Bowl Nationals. But don’t be surprised to see Daniel Sanchez make his way up the alphabet soup on Saturday and turn plenty of heads as his career continues to skyrocket.