CONCORD, NC (December 21, 2001) - When the best drivers in all of motorsports gather at Daytona International Speedway in February for the first True Value International Race of Champions event of the season, Jack Sprague will be among the drivers who slide behind the wheel of a Pontiac Firebird. The event will mark the first time a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver has ever competed in the IROC ranks and also rate as a career milestone for Sprague.
"I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity," said Sprague, who will campaign the No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Busch Series after dominating the Truck Series for the past seven seasons. "The chance to drive in an IROC race doesn't come along often - it's never happened for anyone from the Truck Series and it's a first for me too. It's a great opportunity and I am totally honored to be asked to participate."
After clinching a record third Truck Series title in 2001, Sprague announced his Hendrick Motorsports team would be moving to the Busch Series ranks this season. While the change in divisions added 10 races to his season schedule, Sprague never thought he would be adding the four-event IROC slate to his list of things to do in 2002.
"Knowing that I'm the first driver from the Truck Series to be invited to race in IROC feels really good", Sprague stated. "The idea had actually been mentioned to me when I won the Truck Series championship in 1999, but was never mentioned again until now. I'm really happy about it."
As for the IROC opener at Daytona, Sprague knows the event at the "World Center of Speed" will be a challenge for the drivers and a delight for the fans.
"I'm certainly looking forward to the race in Daytona," said Sprague. "We've got a lot going on that week, but it will work out. The fans love it and you just never know because it's all about the driver and his abilities. Everything's equal and the only variety is the driver - that's what I'm looking forward to.
"Like I said, to even be considered running in these races is an honor," Sprague continued. "Like I said, I knew there was a chance of getting asked, but wasn't quite sure. I'm just really glad. Every driver in those cars can drive and it's the kind of racing they do that makes it awesome to watch and now I'll be a part of it. This is something that I'm sure every driver could only image. I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of it."
Sprague makes his IROC Series debut on Friday, February 15th in the first of four races starting at the Daytona International Speedway.