Texas: Jack Sprague race report

Turnaround in Texas for Sprague, NetZero Racing team. FORT WORTH, TX (March 31, 2003) Following several weekends of frustration, Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team rebounded in Texas coming home with a 22nd-place finish in the...

Turnaround in Texas for Sprague, NetZero Racing team.

FORT WORTH, TX (March 31, 2003) Following several weekends of frustration, Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team rebounded in Texas coming home with a 22nd-place finish in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday.

"The NetZero Pontiac wasn't bad," said Sprague. "It was probably one of the best driving cars that I've had so far this year. It should have been on the lead lap. We just had a rough pit stop and I was really tight off all day. They tried to get me loosened up and that made me sideways and I couldn't drive it. I lost a lap that stretch there and then pretty much held my own the rest of the day. Baby steps. We're working on it and we'll get there. Every week is important."

Sprague lined up on the starting grid in 31st place after posting a speed of 189.235 miles per hour around the 1.5-mile oval during qualifying Friday. He quickly began to move through the field despite the tight handling condition that presented itself almost immediately upon the drop of the green flag Sunday. The crew went to work to remedy the problem with air pressure and track bar adjustments during pit stops that began on Lap 44 of the 334-lap event. Despite going a lap down to the leaders following a pit stop on Lap 103, the handling of the NetZero Pontiac continued to improve and nearing the halfway point of the race, Sprague sat solidly in the top 25.

The NetZero Pontiac Grand Prix was the victim of minor left front fender damage on Lap 237 when Sprague was forced to take evasive action to avoid several cars that made contact in front of him. The team repaired the damage during the subsequent caution flag and sent the Pontiac back to the track as good as new. Sprague finished the event in 22nd place, the team's best finish since the season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, and remained in 37th in the Winston Cup point standings.

"We took a big step today," commented crew chief Dennis Connor. "We solved some of the problems that had been bothering us all season, so that's a good start for us. We can build on this one."

Following a two-day test at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this week, Sprague and his NetZero Racing team will travel to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the Aaron's 499 scheduled for Sunday, April 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The eighth NASCAR Winston Cup event of the season will be telecast live on FOX and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jack Sprague