Sprague pleased with Daytona test

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Jan. 21, 2001) - After three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway, Jack Sprague is convinced he and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ricky Hendrick are in good position for a run at 1-2 sweep of the ...

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Jan. 21, 2001) - After three days of testing at Daytona International Speedway, Jack Sprague is convinced he and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ricky Hendrick are in good position for a run at 1-2 sweep of the season-opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Friday, February 16.

"We had a very solid test," said Sprague, driver of the No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Silverado. "Ricky's truck was a rocket ship and mine was just a tick off of his. I definitely think we've got a great shot at doing something special when we come back to Daytona for the race."

Hendrick's No. 17 GMAC Chevy paced two of the four practice sessions held posting the best time of the entire test in Sunday's non-drafting final session with a 49.284-second (182.615 miles per hour) tour of the 2.5-mile Daytona oval. Meanwhile, Sprague's 49.620- second (181.378) lap in Saturday's action proved to be the best effort of the test for the two-time Craftsman Truck Series titlest.

"We tested a couple of weeks ago at Talladega and, quite frankly, we were pretty disappointed," Sprague stated. "Fortunately, we learned some things aerodynamically and we made those changes to Ricky's truck while keeping mine pretty much the same to use as a benchmark. Based on the times, it's easy to see we're headed in the right direction on Ricky's truck. I'm sure we won't do much to Ricky's truck when we go back to the shop this time other than paint and decal it. I took a couple of laps in it in Sunday's final session and it is really, really good. We'll also make the same changes to my NetZero Chevy and I'm confident it'll be just as fast as Ricky's truck. If we can do that, we're going to be very tough to beat right out of the box at Daytona."

Sprague was also quick to heap high praise on his Hendrick Motorsports crew.

"Our guys have done an incredible job of getting our trucks ready for this season," said Sprague. "We just moved our entire Truck Series operation from two different locations to one big shop - Darrell Waltrip's old Winston Cup facility - in Harrisburg, NC. To see those guys move both shops, build new trucks, test and make the adjustments on those trucks all at one time has been pretty interesting. Now it's up to Ricky and I to pay them back with that kind of effort on the race track."

The Daytona event will be the first time Sprague will fly the red, white and blue NetZero colors after striking a deal with the Westlake Village, CA company to serve as his primary sponsor in 2001.

The season opening Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at Daytona International Speedway will take the green flag on Friday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The first of 24 NCTS events this season will be telecast live by ESPN and will be broadcast live by MRN radio and its more than 400 affiliates nationwide.

-HM-

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK