Bristol gets the best of Sprague, NetZero Racing team. BRISTOL, TN (March 23, 2003) An accident less than half way into the Food City 500 caused significant damage to Jack Sprague's NetZero Pontiac relegating the team to a 35th-place finish in...
Bristol gets the best of Sprague, NetZero Racing team.
BRISTOL, TN (March 23, 2003) An accident less than half way into the Food City 500 caused significant damage to Jack Sprague's NetZero Pontiac relegating the team to a 35th-place finish in the NASCAR Winston Cup race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sprague wasn't alone in taking home a battered racecar as the event was punctuated by 17 caution flag periods.
"Bristol is always tough and today it was a car eater, not just for me, but for a lot of guys," said Sprague. "It's a real accomplishment to just be running here at the finish and, thanks to a great effort by my NetZero team, we did that."
Sprague started the event on the ultra-tough Bristol .533-mile high-banked oval deep in the field from the 42nd position. Sprague was satisfied with the NetZero Pontiac for the first 20 laps of the event before a severe vibration slowed his progress. Sprague's pit crew adjusted the car throughout the day making track bar and air pressure adjustments during the afternoon's many yellow-flag periods.
The adjustments couldn't keep Sprague out of harms way, however, as he tangled with Johnny Benson's mount on Lap 150 as they entered Turn 3. Fortunately, the contact caused very little damage to Sprague's Pontiac Grand Prix.
Sprague's luck then ran out shortly afterward as he spun exiting Turn 2 making heavy contact with the inside backstretch retaining wall. The Lap 181 incident forced Sprague behind the pit wall for repairs where his NetZero team spent 80 laps changing the drive shaft, rear-end housing, truck arms and gear before heading back to the track.
"The guys did a good job fixing the car and it wasn't too bad after that," commented Sprague. "It seemed like we were able to run faster than we had before the accident. It's a shame we had trouble, but then that's Bristol."
Sprague soldiered around the Bristol oval for the remaining laps eventually coming home with the 35th-place finish. He is now tied for 37th spot in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings.
Sprague and his NetZero Racing team will next travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 scheduled for Sunday, March 30 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The seventh NASCAR Winston Cup event of the season will be telecast live on FOX and will be broadcast worldwide by PRN Radio.