Jack Sprague Phoenix preview

AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - The two remaining NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races couldn't be a more perfect match for Jack Sprague and his No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado. With three previous wins at Phoenix International...

AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - The two remaining NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races couldn't be a more perfect match for Jack Sprague and his No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado. With three previous wins at Phoenix International Raceway and two victories at California Speedway, Sprague is hoping will history and a solid truck this time around at those two tracks will propel him to a record third NCTS title. "I can honestly say Phoenix is probably one of my best tracks." Sprague stated. "I've won there a lot and have four pole positions there as well. The first-ever Craftsman Truck Series race was held there in 1995 and I started 15th and finished sixth. It seems like that was just yesterday, but it's 168 races ago and we're back here fighting for a championship." Although Sprague enjoys a comfort level at the flat, one-mile desert oval, the Spring Lake, MI native knows he will have to be in the "zone" to have a good run at PIR. "I have to be extremely focused these last two weekends of the season," said Sprague. "So much is at stake - I can't screw anything up or take it granted. I need to concentrate on staying ahead in points and gaining on Joe Ruttman and Scott Riggs." While Sprague will have an eye on Ruttman and Riggs, his two top rivals for the season title, everyone else will be watching to see if Sprague can keep his "Mile Track Jack" title with another win on the one-mile Phoenix track. Sprague scored his first-ever NCTS win in the 1996 Desert Star Classic at PIR and has notched seven Top-5 efforts in 10 races there. Another win or Top-5 will go a long way into securing a third NCTS crown for the 1997 and 1999 titlest. "I've had a lot of good runs at Phoenix, Sprague stated. "I won my first truck race there and had fun with (Ron) Hornaday when he ran the series. I'm bringing back a truck I like and has given me good runs all year, I think we'll be ready come race day." Last week at Las Vegas, Sprague scorched the 1.5-mile superspeedway in qualifying en route to a new track record of 161.803 mph (33.374 seconds). Although Sprague paced the field for most of the afternoon, he came up just short of his fifth win of the season finishing second to Ted Musgrave. "That was tough last week at Las Vegas," commented Sprague. "We sat on the pole, led the most laps and didn't win the race. I know we finished second and had a great points day, but I can't help being a little irked by not winning. As fast as the NetZero Platinum Chevrolet was all afternoon, coming up short at the end is miserable for this team. We come to win. That's exactly the way we'll approach Phoenix. We want to sit on the pole, lead the most laps and win the race." Sprague and his NetZero team head in to the 150-lap Phoenix test 97 markers in front of second-place Ruttman and 108 ahead of Riggs. "The title is up for grabs for a lot of good drivers, but I want to be the one at the head table in a few weeks at Miami," Sprague said. "We need to stay focused and run a smooth race. I'm going to Phoenix knowing I have the potential to win, but this team's main goal is winning the championship. Unless something off the wall happens, we should be in good shape for the race and a good finish." Sprague will continue his quest for the NCTS title in the No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Silverado at Phoenix International Raceway Friday, October 26th. The 23rd event of the 2001 NCTS season will take the green flag at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast live on ESPN2 and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.

-HM-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Jack Sprague , Scott Riggs