Michigan: Jack Sprague race report

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (June 16, 2003) - Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team finished 19th in Sunday's running of the Sirius 400 at Michigan International Speedway. A pit lane penalty caused the team to fall a lap down near the halfway point of...

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (June 16, 2003) - Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team finished 19th in Sunday's running of the Sirius 400 at Michigan International Speedway. A pit lane penalty caused the team to fall a lap down near the halfway point of the race, but Sprague worked his way into the top 20 before the day was through.

"That's the best I've run here at Michigan even in the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series'," said Sprague. "The NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was tight for most of the race, but we probably had a Top-15 car. NASCAR said I sped down pit road after a pit stop and I had to make an extra pass down pit lane, which got us one lap down. After that it was a battle for the best we could do one lap down."

Sprague posted a speed of 187.823 miles per hour around the 2.0-mile oval during his two lap qualifying run on Friday afternoon. That impressive run earned him highest rookie status and the 14th spot on the starting grid.

The green flag flew in the Irish Hills of Michigan Sunday and Sprague immediately communicated to crew chief Tony Furr that the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was tight. Furr and the crew made adjustments to the car during most of the nine caution periods throughout the event and Sprague remained in the Top-20 for the first half of the race. Unfortunately, while exiting pit road during a pit stop on Lap 122, NASCAR penalized Sprague for speeding on pit lane. Sprague was forced to make another pass through the pits and lost a lap in the process.

Furr's changes began to pay off in the latter stages of the race and Sprague was pleased with the car for the last 40 laps of the 200-Lap Sirius 400. He took the checkered flag in 19th, his second highest finish of the season. In addition, the Top-20 finish enabled the team to pick up three spots in the owner point standings. The Haas CNC Racing team now holds down 36th place.

"Tony got the car loosened up on that last stop with about 40 laps to go and after that I was pretty good," commented Sprague. "We probably had a Top-15 car and we finished 19th, so at least that pit road mistake wasn't too catastrophic. That's the best finish we've had other than Daytona so I can't be too disappointed."

Next weekend, the NetZero Racing team will travel to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California for the first road course event of the season. Qualifying for the Dodge/SaveMart 350 will take place Friday, June 20, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on FOX and will be broadcast worldwide by PRN Radio.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jack Sprague