GLADEVILLE, TN (Friday, Aug. 10) - Agonizing. That describes the first 10 laps of the Federated Auto Parts 200 for Jack Sprague and his No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet. Sprague didn't see the green flag of the race until the 10th circuit after...
GLADEVILLE, TN (Friday, Aug. 10) - Agonizing. That describes the first 10 laps of the Federated Auto Parts 200 for Jack Sprague and his No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet.
Sprague didn't see the green flag of the race until the 10th circuit after a mechanical problem hit his truck on one of the warm-up laps before the race even started.
"What can you say, we broke again," said a dejected Sprague after finishing 21st in the first-ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Nashville Superspeedway. "We had a coil wire break where it went through the firewall. Totally a freak thing. Instead of arcing to the distributor, it was arcing to the firewall. Without any spark, the truck just wouldn't run."
Sprague continued his torrid qualifying pace steaming his red, white and blue NetZero Platinum Silverado to a second-place, front-row start. Sprague, who celebrated his 37th birthday Wednesday, toured the 1.33-mile Nashville oval in 30.994 seconds (154.830 miles per hour). The rapid qualifying lap was just a tick off Scott Riggs' pole winning run. Sprague has not qualified out of the Top-3 in the last eight races (including 5 poles) and has a 1.875 qualifying average over that period.
All that meant little however when his truck sputtered to a halt on the back straight during the warm-up laps prior to Friday's race.
"I've tried everything," Sprague radioed to his NetZero Platinum crew. "All the gauges read fine, I've switched the ignition systems. It doesn't' seem like it's getting any spark."
Sprague was eventually pushed back to the pit area where the offending coal wire was detected. Now 10 laps down to the field, Sprague made the best he could of the situation gaining 10 spots over the final 140 laps to finish 21st.
Sprague, who was looking to become just the third driver in NCTS history to win three races in a row, also saw his division point lead go down the drain after just one race. Sprague fell from first to third in the standings, 43 points behind new leader, Joe Ruttman.
"It's too bad because our truck was really good and I think we had a shot at winning," said Sprague. "The NetZero Platinum Chevy wasn't the best I has been, but it was pretty good. We were a little tight in the middle of the corners, but we were still plenty fast. I passed the fourth-place truck with a couple laps to go. We should have had a good finish. We just cut a coil wire."
Sprague will try to get back on the winning track when he and his NetZero Platinum mates travel to Chicago Motor Speedway for the Sears 175, Saturday, August 18. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast as it happens by MRN Radio.