Charlotte: Sprague top rookie qualifying press conference

JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX - Qualified a career-best 5th: IS THE EXTRA HUNDRED MILES AT THIS RACE TOUGHER ON YOU THAN SOME OF THE OTHER RACES? "That's probably not a very good question for me because I've never run 600...

JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 0 NETZERO PONTIAC GRAND PRIX - Qualified a career-best 5th:

IS THE EXTRA HUNDRED MILES AT THIS RACE TOUGHER ON YOU THAN SOME OF THE OTHER RACES?

"That's probably not a very good question for me because I've never run 600 miles before. But like Mike said, I don't think it can be near as tough as 500 laps at Bristol, and I've had several of those and they're still tough. This isn't a physically tough racetrack on your body, but I think it's very tough on your equipment. You've got to keep the fenders on it. And you'll probably run less gear than you probably run in a 500-mile race because certainly if you blow up you're in trouble. You seem to lose a lot of engines in this race because it is the longest race. We're in a little bit different situation than those guys. We're just trying to climb the hill and turn the corner a little bit and get better. And we have been. It's a slow process. We didn't get screwed up overnight, and we're not going to fix it overnight, but this is the first car that Tony put the body on it, and I ran in the Open last week and was very pleased with it. Even though we ran 10th, that wasn't really all the car was capable of. I just kind of stayed back and let those guys knock the hell out of each other, and used it as a test. The car was extremely fast and drove extremely good, so we brought it back. In fact we've got a car at the shop that's going to Dover that's a lot better than this one but he wouldn't let me bring it."

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CHASSIS FOR THIS RACE?

"If you've got a good race car, it's easy to tune as the night goes on. But if you start out horrible, and then you get it somewhat decent, it's going to go back horrible I think. If you start this race and you can run in the top 15, they can tweak on that car all night long, and you should be able to run there all night long. But if you start horrible and start "garage-sailing" it, and start throwing things at it, you might get it better for a while, but then it's going to get worse. That's the way I feel about it."

-gm racing-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup