There is good news for Silverado Racing coming out of todayÂ¹s race, despite the fact that Jack Sprague dominated 170 of the 200 laps yet came in second. Because seriesÂ¹ points leader (coming into this race) Scott Riggs finished in 24th place as...
There is good news for Silverado Racing coming out of today¹s race, despite the fact that Jack Sprague dominated 170 of the 200 laps yet came in second. Because series¹ points leader (coming into this race) Scott Riggs finished in 24th place as a result of a broken right-front hub, the points gap among the top three has narrowed. Joe Ruttman, who finished sixth, took over the top spot with 1732 points. Riggs dropped to second with 1726, and Sprague moved ever closer to the front with 1673 points.
Sprague, starting from his third pole position of the season, had the field covered for the first 170 laps, relinquishing only three of those laps to Chris Horn¹s Silverado during pit stops under caution. The driver of the No. 24 NetZero Platinum Silverado was able to build up his margin over second place to nearly four seconds following each of the first five caution-period restarts. But on lap 168, as the field took the green flag after the sixth of a total of seven caution-flag periods, Musgrave was right on Sprague¹s rear bumper, completing a pass for the lead on lap 171. Another caution flag flew on lap 172 for five laps, and from that point on it was Musgrave¹s race to the finish. Sprague, racing on right-side tires that his Silverado ^Ìhated,¹ he said, held on to finish comfortably in second place, 2.304 seconds behind Musgrave and over three seconds ahead of fellow Silverado racer Travis Kvapil in third.
Chevy Silverados led for a total of 170 laps (including Horn¹s three laps).
SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (second): "The guys did a great job. The NetZero Platinum Silverado was awesome. I can¹t say enough about these guys. They gave me quick pit stops, but right-side tires made the truck miserable. When he (Musgrave) got me, I thought I could get by him because the truck had been fast all day, but the truck got worse. Earlier in the day he¹d be strong on restarts, but after five laps or so I¹d pull away. The last set of tires just didn¹t agree with our truck. The Silverado was a rocket all day. I really didn¹t want that last caution because I knew if we had to do a green-flag stop our guys would kill them in the pits. Until the last caution I had over a three-second lead so if I¹d come out of the pits with a five-six-second lead I could have been as bad as I was at the end and still beat them. The end of the race just didn¹t play into our hands. I really thought it would come around at the end, but instead it just got worse. Still, it¹s a better finish than last week. We¹ll just go on to Kansas City and hope for better. I never really ran that hard all day until the end. Still, I thought it would come around, but the truck hated the last set of right-side tires."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (third): "We were doing OK. We were a fifth-sixth-place truck the whole race. It was definitely a team effort for us. The last pit stop was crucial. The guys made it happen under the last caution. We came into the pits in sixth, came out in third. They kept making little adjustments on the truck; that¹s what counts. It¹s tough to pass on a flat track like this, so track position is key. The crew gained it for us today." NO REAL PROBLEMS OUT THERE? "There were a couple of trucks that ran in front of us, then there was us. And we were better than a few trucks behind us. It gave me a lot of time to talk to Rick (Ren, crew chief) and relay some good information to him to make some good adjustments. The guys made it count when we needed it."
BILLY BIGLEY, NO. 75 SPEARS MANUFACTURING SILVERADO (seventh, ran as high as fourth; best finish so far in truck series): "The Silverado was really good. It¹s a really hard race track to pass on. You can be quite a bit faster and still have a hard time getting around them if they¹re taking your line. We had a great truck today, great pit stops, the guys did a good job making good adjustments. It got tight in the middle of the race where we fell from fourth to seventh. We had a track-bar adjuster stuck in the truck and had to come back into the pits and came out at the end of the lead lap. We¹re creeping our way to the front, slowly but surely. We are all really excited; the Silverado¹s in good shape. The guys did a good job; we made good calls. We¹re ready to go to the next one. Well, not really ready, but close to ready. ^ÌEarl¹ did a good job."
MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 FASTTRACK DRIVEWAY SEALER CHEVROLET (ninth): "We had a lot better truck than that (finish). We ran all the way from the back to sixth, then we had a bad set of tires at the end, ended up ninth. We worked our tails off to get into sixth. I had a stop-and-go (penalty) for a catch can left at the back of the truck. We were out of pit sequence and had to go to the back of the lead lap."
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (10th; still leads Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 165 points. Kvapil is secod with 157): "We have been tight all weekend. We have been fighting every step of the way and that is really frustrating. I wasn't charging the turn out there, but I couldn't keep it on the bottom. The harder I fought to turn the GMAC Silverado the more it didn't want to go. I was probably trying too hard. Although^Êyou're not really racing if you aren't out there giving it everything you've got. I just wish our finish reflected the effort and all the hard work that went into this race. The guys kept telling me to protect the bottom, but there just wasn't anything I could do. I couldn't turn down low, no matter what I did. I was getting so much advice, but the best advice in the world won't help a truck turn better. It wasn't a terrible day, but I wanted more. We had another top-10 finish, but we weren't the top rookie. I am disappointed, but we will be back next week in Kansas and we will see what we have there."
DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (11th): "We struggled a little bit today with the Acxiom/Computer Associates Silverado. We made a lot of changes all day and maybe we learned a few things to carry on to somewhere else. Maybe it was just a learning process for us today. We were just tight all day; I couldn¹t turn it in the center of the corner. We ran close to the leaders for 15 laps or so, although we were a lap down. It was too late to make it happen, the cautions didn¹t fall for us in the race. It¹s an unfortunate day for us."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHOICE SILVERADO (17th): "In the middle of the race we got a little bit behind. We used our tires up in the middle. We were actually as fast as -- maybe not the leaders -- but the majority of the guys on the lead lap, but we got caught a lap down. Then, about two laps to go, we ran out of gas. That hurts. We just didn¹t put enough in it in the pit stop. We ran out of gas when the white flag was coming out. Sprague is the only one who lapped me. Right after he lapped me the caution came out while we were going into the pits."
1. Joe Ruttman, Dodge 1732 2. Scott Riggs, Dodge 1726 3. Jack Sprague, Chevy 1673 4. Ted Musgrave, Dodge 1600 5. Ricky Hendrick, Chevy* 1586 6. Travis Kvapil, Chevy* 1585 7. Terry Cook, Ford 1548 8. Rick Crawford, Ford 1443 9. Dennis Setzer, Chevy 1374 10. Matt Crafton, Chevy* 1363 11. Randy Tolsma, Chevy 1355
UNOFFICIAL MANUFACTURER STANDINGS:
Dodge 93 Chevy 70 Ford 46