MILWAUKEE, WI - Jack Sprague has achieved a whole lot in five years of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. Hendrick Motorsports rookie Ricky Hendrick, meanwhile, has accomplished a bunch in less than one full season of Busch Grand...
MILWAUKEE, WI - Jack Sprague has achieved a whole lot in five years of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. Hendrick Motorsports rookie Ricky Hendrick, meanwhile, has accomplished a bunch in less than one full season of Busch Grand National racing.
The two talented drivers, each at different points in the career spectrum, will combine to form a potent 1-2 GMAC punch when they both race this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile. Sprague tackles the mile first in Saturday's SEARS DIEHARD 200 (CBS: 2:30 p.m. EDT) before Hendrick hits the track in Sunday's SEARS DIEHARD 250 (CBS: 1 p.m. EDT). Items of note include:
Sprague, who finished second in this event last year, won the race in 1996 and sat on the Bud Pole in both 1997 and 1998. Sprague, driver of the #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet, is coming off his fifth top-five finish at Watkins Glen in five tries. This most recent effort was perhaps his best as the defending series champion overcame a spin on the first lap to claim fifth spot in the final order of finish! The #24 Team GMAC driver is also the only competitor to complete all 312 laps of competition at The Glen. Sprague can become the first repeat NCTS winner at The Milwaukee Mile Saturday. The 35-year-old is the only driver to win at Milwaukee after qualifying outside the top five. He started eighth in his '96 run to the checkers. The #24 GMAC Financial Services team, led by Sprague and crew chief Dennis Connor, own the following track records at The Milwaukee Mile: most money won ($106,525), most laps led (279), most laps completed (925), most Bud Poles (2), most top-five finishes (four) and most top-10 finishes five). Sprague's starting and finishing average is the same: 3.8! Ricky Hendrick is coming off a solid 13th-place finish at Myrtle Beach Speedway on June 17. Hendrick, driver of the #24 GMAC Chevrolet Monte Carlo, qualified ninth for that event. In his only NCTS start to date, Hendrick finished sixth at Pikes Peak back on May 21. He is next scheduled to pilot the #17 GMAC Chevrolet Silverado July 8 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Hendrick's memorable rookie campaign also featured his first-ever top-five finish in Busch competition. That came back in April when the 20-year-old Charlotte native finished fifth in the BellSouth Mobility 320 at Nashville Speedway USA.
#24 GMAC driver Jack Sprague's thoughts on Saturday's SEARS DIEHARD 200:
"I've always thought that The Milwaukee Mile is a lot like Martinsville (Speedway) on steroids," Sprague said.
The two-time and defending NCTS champion, who's been known to flex his own muscles at the Wisconsin track, added:
"We've got some good notes to go on as far as our qualifying package goes. As a driver, sometimes you just have a better feel for certain tracks; Milwaukee is one of them for me. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like Team GMAC's chances this weekend."
#24 GMAC driver Ricky Hendrick's thoughts on Sunday's SEARS DIEHARD 250:
"I'm looking forward to getting some experience on this mile layout in Milwaukee," Hendrick said. "I've had more experience on short tracks and I think that being familiar with a certain style of track makes you more comfortable. This weekend should help in our whole team's learning process and increase my own level of comfort on the one-mile tracks."
The Milwaukee Mile
Year Event Start Finish Laps Money Won Status 1999 DieHard 200 3 2 200/200 $25,250 Running 1998 DieHard 200 1 3 200/200 21,100 Running 1997 DieHard 200 1 4 200/200 16,300 Running 1996 Sears Auto 200 8 1 200/200 40,275 Running 1995 Sears Auto 125 6 9 125/125 3,600 Running