BUSCH: Charlotte: Jack Sprague preview

Sprague, NetZero Chevrolet ready for long-awaited return to Charlotte. CONCORD, NC (May 19, 2002) - Jack Sprague has been waiting for nine years and the right situation to race again at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck...

Sprague, NetZero Chevrolet ready for long-awaited return to Charlotte.

CONCORD, NC (May 19, 2002) - Jack Sprague has been waiting for nine years and the right situation to race again at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion hasn't competed at the 1.5-mile oval since the 1993 Champion 300 NASCAR Busch Series event. It's been a long wait, but Sprague finally feels he and his No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet have the right combination for a strong return in Saturday's CarQuest Auto Parts 300.

"It's been so long since I've raced at Charlotte that the track's name has changed," said Sprague. "Until we tested there a few weeks ago, I wasn't really sure if I would remember the line to run. It didn't take long though. We had a good car for the test, pretty darn quick. Dennis Connor (Sprague's crew chief) and this Hendrick Motorsports team worked a lot on both our qualifying and race set-up for this weekend and I think we found something that'll be good for the race."

Despite seven NBS starts at the famed Charlotte track, Sprague describes himself as being "green" going into the 200-lap event. Sprague has a commendable 10th-place qualifying average in those seven starts, but has managed to complete just one race in 1999. Sprague started from the pole position and finished fifth. The rest ended with mechanical failure.

"I'd rather not reminisce about my past races at Charlotte," said Sprague. "I've always been confident in my qualifying abilities and I've always started races there in a good spot. I even won a Busch Series pole at Charlotte in 1991. I just never had a car that was able to run up front and hold together for the whole race."

Sprague and his NetZero team aren't tipping their hat on what they have planned for their return to Charlotte. The team also isn't big on coming up with cute names for their cars - Sprague will be piloting "chassis 221" at Charlotte, a proven charger according to the veteran driver.

" We're bringing the same car we finished fourth with at California," Sprague stated. "It's a really good car, I'm really looking forward to driving it again. It's a car that responds well to adjustments and Charlotte is a track that is consistently changing throughout the day. That forces everyone to be on top of their game and make the right adjustments in response to those changes."

Sprague enters the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 with four Top-5 and eight Top-10 finishes in 12 races this season. The only three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, Sprague is currently second in the point's race with 1703 points. He trails leader, Jason Keller by 31 markers.

"We've had notes from the Truck Series for a lot of tracks we've run at so far this season," said Sprague, who is coming off his 26th-place finish in the most recent NBS event, the Stacker 2 200 at Nazareth Speedway. "We've been able to try things that we used the last few years and see how they compared to what we are trying to do now. For Charlotte, we don't have anything to go on except our testing notes. If the weather on race day is similar to the day we tested, we should be real good. If not, we're starting with a clean slate and keeping tabs for the fall when we come back to Charlotte to race again."

The CarQuest Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway will take the green flag Saturday, May 25 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on FOX. PRN Radio will also broadcast the race as it happens.

ABOUT NETZERO:

NetZero is a United Online company. United Online is a leading Internet service provider that commenced operations in September 2001 as the result of its acquisition of NetZero and Juno Online Services -- two of the most recognized Internet access brands in the United States and Canada. Through its subsidiaries, United Online offers both free and value-priced Internet access services in more than 5,000 cities. The company is headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., with offices in New York City and Hyderabad, India. United Online's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol "UNTD." For more information about NetZero and United Online, visit www.unitedonline.net.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Jack Sprague
Teams Hendrick Motorsports