RICHMOND, Va. - In recent years, ...
RICHMOND, Va. - In recent years, #24 Team GMAC driver Jack Sprague has come a long way on short tracks. Sprague, who owns short track wins this year at Evergreen (Monroe, WA) and Memphis, will look for another in Thursday's Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway (ESPN2: 8 p.m. EDT). Items of note include:
* Two years ago, Sprague carried the #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado to victory lane at Richmond, winning this event by .299 seconds over then Winston Cup regular Ernie Irvan.
* The win at Richmond helped Sprague lead all NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors with three short track victories in 1998. Prior to that season, he had only won once on a short strip (Aug. 1997, Nashville Speedway).
* Sprague and Joe Ruttman are the only NCTS competitors to compete in all five previous events at RIR. Both have three top-five finishes as well, but Sprague's have come in each of the past three years (5th, 1st and 2nd, respectively).
* The Kroger 200 is the 21st of 24 events on the 2000 NCTS schedule. And it represents the final short track test as only events at Dover, Texas and California remain before the 2000 season concludes.
* Fellow GMAC driver Ricky Hendrick will also compete in the Kroger 200. Hendrick, 20, has three top-10 finishes in four NCTS events this season. His highest finish (sixth) came in his series debut at Pikes Peak back in May.
Sprague's thoughts heading into Thursday's race at Richmond International Raceway:
"We're getting close to the end of the season here and it'd be nice to close with a couple of more wins," Sprague said. "It's been an up-and-down kind of season and we could use some strong runs to hang our hats on."
Added Sprague, "Short tracks have been fairly good to us and running under the lights at Richmond is always a big thrill. Winning always provides the biggest thrill and there's really no substitute for that feeling you get. That's all we're focused on the rest of the way."