Michigan Native Jack Sprague found a little southern comfort at The Nashville Super Speedway as the two time truck series Champion finally found where victory lane is located in the Busch Grand National Series. In a word Sprague and his Hendrick...
Michigan Native Jack Sprague found a little southern comfort at The Nashville Super Speedway as the two time truck series Champion finally found where victory lane is located in the Busch Grand National Series.
In a word Sprague and his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet were dominant on the one and one third mile concrete oval, leading 141 of the 225-lap event.
"This feels awesome. Words can't express it. I've been trying for 10 years to win one of these. Rick gave me a great opportunity in the Truck Series, and we won three championships, but it didn't seem like we could win up here. But look how fast we've come this far."
Sprague started in the fifth position and quickly came to the front taking the lead
On lap twenty-four. A position he held for the majority of the night.
Sprague's career in the Busch Grand National series started in 1989, and up until this year he only managed three top five finishes.
His early performances in the series was enough to impress car owner Rick Hendrick who hired the driver in 1994 to drive for the developmental truck team that was to compete in the then new series in 1995 (CTS)
The aggressive driver from Hendrick Motorsports made a name or himself I the Craftsman Trucks where he has twenty three wins in 170 starts, three championships, and continues to be the holder of a majority of the series records
Sprague and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates moved to BGN this year, and have found immediate success with 11 top ten finishes in 15 races, but has been unable to get that elusive first win.
Finishing behind Sprague were Bobby Hamilton Jr, and pole Sitter Gregg Biffle.
Hamilton Jr, a race day favorite was happy with his performance but frustrated stating
"Man, What does it take to win here".
Biffle appeared to be the only driver in the field who seemed up to challenging the Hendrick team, however was unable to capitalize
For the third week in a row electrical problems plagued the team, problems that forced the driver to once again turn all fans off in the car. Biffle noted that the heat, and the fumes in the car begin to affect him.
"I lost my concentration there when I was leading going into Turn 1," Biffle said. "I ran into the wall making the arc to get down into the corner. That knocked the toe out, bent the fender in."stated the Roush driver who after the late race contact with the wall was not longer a threat to win.
Jay Sauter and Jason Keller rounded out the top five finishers.
As winner of the event Sprague was presented with a Les Paul Guitar in Victory lane,
"I saw that guitar in the drivers meeting, and I really wanted it. I hope this win quiets a few of our critics, it seems every week we could do everything right except win one of these things", noted Sprague.
Sprague continues to hold on to the top spot in the series point's battle, eighty points in front of Jason Keller, and 123 ahead of Scott Riggs who dropped one position to his teammate
Riggs, winner of the April race at the speedway had a night full of problems, starting sixth, but finding trouble several times, leaving him two laps down finishing twentieth.
Biffle and Hamilton Jr complete the top five in points both, moving up in the rankings.
Slowing the event were seven caution flags for a total of thirty-two laps. Those involved in on track incidents included Kevin Grubb, Aston Lewis, Richard Mitchell, Dan Pardus, Ron Hornaday, and Mike McLaughlin.
Those drivers receiving points for leading at least one lap include Sprague, Biffle, Jay Sauter, Hamilton JR and Jason Keller, who mixed it up for a total of eight lead changes.
Other top performers were the Weliver- Jesel Motorsports who put two drivers in the top ten with Hank Parker Jr finishing eighth and Casey Mears finishing tenth.
The series will continues Saturday night racing as it heads to Kentucky Speedway for the Kroger 300 on June 15th.