Power Stroke Diesel 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- Round 15 Indianapolis Raceway Park Indianapolis, Ind. August 3, 2001 Sprague Wins His Third Race For Silverado; Moves Into Points Lead For the first time all year, a Chevrolet driver...
Power Stroke Diesel 200
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- Round 15
Indianapolis Raceway Park
August 3, 2001
Sprague Wins His Third Race For Silverado; Moves Into Points Lead
For the first time all year, a Chevrolet driver leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship point standings as Jack Sprague is propelled into the top spot with his third win of the year, the fifth for the Silverado.
Two-time series champion Jack Sprague had this race covered, leading 149 of the 200 laps, capturing his 22nd career win by 1.234 seconds ahead of Ford driver Terry Cook.
Starting from the outside pole, Sprague launched his NetZero Platinum Silverado into the lead as the green flag flew, giving it up at the first caution period on lap 50 to Matt Crafton, who did not pit along with the leaders. Crafton led for 22 laps until Ricky Hendrick, who also didn't pit under the first caution, made a pass that stuck on lap 73. Hendrick led for 29 laps until pit stops on lap 102, when Sprague emerged the leader once again. Sprague warded off the Dodges of Joe Ruttman and Bobby Hamilton, then the Ford of Terry Cook for the rest of the race, to claim the 85th victory for Chevrolet since 1995.
Silverados led every lap on this .686-mile paved oval down the road from the "Brickyard," the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Winston Cup stars will race on Sunday.
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (first)
"We changed right tires first. The NetZero Platinum Chevy got tight and I was a little worried. On the second stop we changed lefts and we had about 100 laps to go. I knew at that point I wasn't coming in again."
ON THE RACE:
"I thought it was a pretty clean race. The track was good; the same old IRP that has always been. I love this place; it's fun. This truck has been strong all year. I knew if they got the mechanical woes we had figured out, it was going to be tough to deal with. This thing's been awesome. These are the best trucks I've driven for these guys and Dennis (Connor, crew chief) has given me great stuff and the guys are doing great stuff in the shop. He (Dennis) told me in New Hampshire that he had it figured out and it wasn't going to break anymore. Two in a row it hasn't broke, and we won two in a row."
WHEN YOU'RE DOMINATING LIKE THIS ARE YOU LOOKING IN THE MIRROR?:
"Yeah, Terry (Cook) got by Joe (Ruttman) there and ran me down pretty good. I was a little worried about Terry. He was pretty quick. But my truck would stay. It had stay-power and then he got a little slower -- don't know if he got tight or loose. I saw him start to fade a little bit, so I felt like I was in pretty decent shape. When that last caution came out I had no idea how good he was going to be off the caution. My truck was real good off the caution so we were all right."
NOW THAT YOU'RE LEADING, DO YOU HAVE A MENTAL EDGE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?:
"I don't know. It's not going to be the end of the world if I don't win. Where to some other guys it will be. We've won two of them. Not that I'm not trying, don't get me wrong. I don't think anybody can doubt that. It won't crush my world if I don't win another one, but we'd like one more"
THE TEAM KNOWS WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO:
"The team knows what it needs to do. In the first half of the year we weren't doing everything wrong, but everything was going opposite of what you need to do. You need to finish to be consistent. And when we finish we finish excellent. But when we weren't finishing it was devastating -- 23rd, 21st, 24th. There are four or five of those races that would just knock us in the dirt. If it weren't for them, I can't imagine the point lead we would have. It would be unbelievable. They've given me the best trucks I've ever had. We have great sponsors, NetZero, Chevrolet, ACDelco. Everything's clicking. Me and Dennis are clicking after seven years, believe it or not, better than we ever have. That's pretty remarkable. We got it going on pretty good. I really like Dennis. I don't have to worry about him. I know what he gives me. I can deal with it. By the same token, he listens to what I want. It's extremely easy for me and him clicking all this year; that's what started the end of last year. We've been good together the whole time, but I really think we found, I don't know, more respect, or just a mutual ground with each other and it's more like brothers now. That's pretty cool"
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (fifth, is only five points behind Ricky Hendrick in Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year points):
"Getting a top five is what it's all about. It didn't look like we had a top-five truck coming into the race tonight. The team didn't give up, I didn't give up, we kept on fighting. We stayed out of the wrecks. That was the main thing. Quite a few of them just wrecked right in front of me and we were able to pick up some easy positions. The pit stops were great again; we picked up a few spots on pit road. That's the easiest way to do it. A top five for the Cat Rental Silverado team the first time here -- it's a pretty good day for us. We kept all the fenders on it. Getting a top-five is what it's all about for the championship. We're back on track."
MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 XESIGHTING SYSTEMS SILVERADO (seventh, led 22 laps):
"We made a really good call not making that first pit stop. It worked out pretty good. We ended up getting real tight at the end of the race. That might have hurt us toward the end of the race. In the middle of the race we actually had a really good truck. The last 50 laps we just got super, super tight and just hung on to it for all it's worth. I probably had a 15th-place truck at the end of the race. We just hung on, had good track position. It's pretty good for us in points, all in all. I'm new here, it's my first time coming here. We will have stout notes for next year. There's stuff we can try and we should be a lot better next year. We're getting back on our consistent runs, getting back to the top five and maybe we will get us a win. I'd like to thank XeSighting Systems for coming on board for the rest of the year."
DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN ANY OF THE WRECKS?
"I had a little bit of tire rub on the right side. I got together with Ted Musgrave in the beginning of the race. I got a little loose off turn four; we touched. Got a tire mark. That's racing; especially on this type of short track."
COY GIBBS, NO. 30 MBNA SILVERADO (13th): ON INCIDENT WITH RICKY HENDRICK (on lap 177:
"Ricky got together with me. I gave him plenty of room. I'm not worried about it. He was just trying to get under me and spun out."
ON THE RACE:
"It was hard. I worked my tail off to get 13th. I was just running my tail off. We just missed it a little bit; it cost us a lot. At this place if you just miss it a tiny little bit you're out to lunch. This is my first time here. When I come back I will feel a lot better; I will know how to run the place a little bit better. This is an odd track; I wouldn't mind if I didn't come back. I thought we had a 10th place there for a while, but we couldn't hold on to it."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING SILVERADO (15th):
"We seemed to be right behind all the spins. I got spun twice and then 17 and 20 spun and I happened to be on the outside right with them. So we spun. We spun three times tonight. My Silverado ran real good. Every time we would spin we would come back to the lead lap, came back up to the top 10. We did that all night long. With 20 to go we had that spin (with Hendrick and Gibbs); that kind of hurt us. We stayed on the lead lap, the truck ran good, we just have to stay away from the people spinning."
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (18th, one lap down):
"It was a rough night. My second worst finish of the year. I got involved in two accidents. I didn't hit anything, did 360s on both of them and kept going. I got down a lap on the last one (with Gibbs). There are too many people in the series that I keep having problems with. I'm trying to be the big guy about it and not go back and retaliate. It's just one of those deals. We led 30 laps clean. (Ricky actually led 29 laps.) It wasn't just given to us. We had a good truck. The GMAC Silverado was up front. It's a shame that the night had to end like that. We were sure we could have finished at least fifth. It's just one of those nights. I guess that's just part of racing."
YOU MADE A GOOD CALL TO STAY OUT IN THE EARLY CAUTION:
"That was all Lance (McGrew, crew chief). Lance is a new crew chief. He's great. He's awesome. Obviously he knows what he's doing. It paid off for us. We stayed out and led for another 30 or 40 laps, and passed people on the inside with old tires. That was a great call on his part. The guys did a good job. We just had bad luck."
1. Jack Sprague, Chevy 2317
2. Joe Ruttman, Dodge 2300
3. Scott Riggs, Dodge 2243
4. Travis Kvapil, Chevy 2225
5. Ricky Hendrick, Chevy 2195
6. Ted Musgrave, Chevy 2125
7. Terry Cook, Ford 2109
8. Dennis Setzer, Chevy 2011
9. Rick Crawford, Ford 1899
10. Randy Tolsma, Chevy 1859
MANUFACTURER POINT STANDINGS:
1. Dodge 118
2. Chevy 103
3. Ford 64