Martinsville: Round four preview

Victory continues to elude Jack Sprague at Martinsville Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 27, 2006) -- Most competitors would be pleased to count a quartet of third-place finishes at any racetrack. Not that Jack Sprague (No. 60 Con-Way ...

Victory continues to elude Jack Sprague at Martinsville Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 27, 2006) -- Most competitors would be pleased to count a quartet of third-place finishes at any racetrack.

Not that Jack Sprague (No. 60 Con-Way Toyota) is complaining about his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record at Martinsville Speedway.

But what's missing from those third-place finishes is a victory. And that represents a big blank for a driver whose 25 wins rank No. 2 on the series' all-time list.

Sprague obviously knows his way around the .526-mile track, which hosts Saturday's Kroger 250. He's won a Bud Pole (2004) and led 118 laps.

Last October, making his first start with the Wyler Racing team, Sprague seemed headed to Victory Lane before a pit exit accident and a broken oil line ended his afternoon. He isn't ambivalent about his feelings for the track.

"I don't know what it is about that track," Sprague said. "It's not one of my favorite places to race. I think it is just an extremely tough place to win a race."

That said, Martinsville well may be the key to Sprague's goal of winning a fourth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title. The series stops there twice -- Saturday and again on Oct. 21. He finished third at Martinsville in his first championship season and 10th in his second.

Currently seventh in the standings after three races, Sprague was fifth at Daytona and California. He hopes to rebound from a finish of 17th in Atlanta.

The Michigan native cites Martinsville's unpredictability as a major reason for its difficulty.

"You think you're good in practice and then the race starts and you're not as good as you thought," he said.

This year's schedule, which has teams practicing on Friday and qualifying and racing the next afternoon, could be challenging -- especially for teams who don't have a guaranteed entry into the field based upon 2005 owner points.

"I always qualify well there, which is good because we have to qualify on time," said Sprague, who has started outside the top 10 just once in 11 races.

The team recently tested at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina and Sprague is confident he'll be a threat to end his Martinsville non-winning streak.

"I told someone that if I ever won at Martinsville, I might just retire right then and there," he said.

-nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague