ST. LOUIS, MO - ...
ST. LOUIS, MO - #24 Team GMAC driver Jack Sprague has memories and momentum on his side as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series moves to Gateway International on Sunday.
Sprague, who has reeled off five consecutive top-three finishes dating back to Feb. 26, is the only driver to post top 5's in both previous events at Gateway International Raceway. Some other important items to consider heading into Sunday's race (ESPN: 1:30 p.m. EDT):
Sprague has not finished outside the top three finishers since the season-opening event at Daytona (Feb. 18) when he was a collected in a crash not of his own doing.
Gateway is a 1.25-mile superspeedway with 11 degrees of banking in turns one and two and nine degrees of banking in turns three and four.
Sprague, a 35-year-old Michigan native, led four times for 67 laps in this event last year - the most of any competitor in the field - before finishing third. In 1998, he crossed the finish line fourth in this race.
Nobody boasts a better average finish at Gateway than Sprague (3.5).
Sprague captured the all-time lead for top-10 road course finishes after taking third in the April 22 event at Portland. It was his 12th top 10 on a road circuit. He also tied Ron Hornaday for most career top-fives on the left- and right-hand circuit with nine.
Chevrolet, which has two victories this season, leads the NCTS Manufacturer Standings by two points over Ford.
SPRAGUE'S THOUGHTS HEADING INTO SUNDAY'S EVENT:
"THIS IS ABOUT THE TIME OF YEAR THAT WE BREAK THROUGH FOR THAT FIRST VICTORY," SPRAGUE SAID. "(CREW CHIEF) DENNIS (CONNOR), THE GUYS AND MYSELF HAVE WORKED REAL HARD SO FAR TO PUT OURSELVES IN POSITION FOR THAT THIRD TITLE THIS YEAR."
ADDED SPRAGUE, "I SAID AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, THAT IN ADDITION TO WINNING THE WAR, WE NEEDED TO WIN SOME MORE OF THE BATTLES ALONG THE WAY. WELL, THIS SUNDAY'S RACE IS OUR NEXT BATTLE AND GATEWAY'S BEEN GOOD TO US IN THE PAST. I FEEL LIKE WE'VE GOT A GOOD SHOT TO GET THAT FIRSTONE THIS WEEKEND."