MILWAUKEE MILE FITS JACK SPRAGUE LIKE A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF SHOES Milwaukee, WI -- Some race tracks just fit a driver's style better than others. For Jack Sprague, the Milwaukee Mile is just one of those tracks. From 1995 through 2001,...
MILWAUKEE MILE FITS JACK SPRAGUE LIKE A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF SHOES
Milwaukee, WI -- Some race tracks just fit a driver's style better than others. For Jack Sprague, the Milwaukee Mile is just one of those tracks. From 1995 through 2001, Sprague never started nor finished out of the top-ten in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. He captured three poles, one win, five top-five and seven top-ten finishes in the seven-year span.
"Milwaukee is a place I adapted to right away," Sprague said. "I like the technical aspects of it because you have to really have to setup your passes. If you don't have the handling you need under your truck and can't get off the corners hard to make your passes down the straight away, you aren't going to go anywhere. I have a comfort level with the track that you just don't have with every place you go to race."
In 2004, Sprague was on his way to repeating his usual NCTS performance at Milwaukee. He qualified fourth and ran in the top-five all day, dogging eventual winner, Ted Musgrave, for much of the first half of the race. On lap 110, without any warning, Sprague lost an engine and retired from the race in 35th position.
"Our Chevy Trucks Silverado was awesome last year," Sprague continued. "We were a little tight at the start of the race but the guys made some great changes and we got better. We needed just a little more on our next stop. We broke a valve spring and then the whole bottom end let go. It was just one of those deals you can't do anything about."
With his win at Texas on June 10 and a solid top-ten finish at Michigan last week, Sprague and the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado team are ready to slide back in to their Milwaukee comfort zone and keep their consistent performance record on track.
"Luck hasn't always been on our side so far this season," Sprague concluded. "But this team keeps fighting back and salvaging decent finishes in races we started out struggling a little bit. We have gotten in some wrecks from just being in the wrong place in the wrong time, but to overcome the things you can't control, you have to build consistency and strong finishes in the rest of the races.
"This team is capable of winning racing and being a championship contender. The Chevy Trucks crew has a "never give up attitude" and a determination to go to the front and stay there. We just have to keep challenging ourselves to get better every race.
"With the level of competition in the Truck Series now, you can't afford to be off your game. There are going to be things that happen on the track that you can't predict or avoid. So you have to spot on every chance you get. This is a tough series, every bit as tough as Cup or Busch. We have shorter races and have less opportunity to make adjustments so you have to get it done from the drop of the green flag.
"I am ready for Milwaukee. We need to have history repeat itself and have a good race here with a good finish."