JOLIET, IL (July 13, 2002) - Jack Sprague will tell you he's had better days after finishing 10th in the True Value ROC Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday. While it was the three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion's third...
JOLIET, IL (July 13, 2002) - Jack Sprague will tell you he's had better days after finishing 10th in the True Value ROC Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday. While it was the three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion's third Top-10 finish in as many IROC events this season, it was easily the most disappointing.
"I guess two of out three isn't bad," said Sprague. "The first two races this year produced good finishes and I really thought after the way the car felt and was handling in practice that I was going to have a good run today. I knew that wasn't going to happen on the first lap. The engine just started making noise - high and low pitched - like it was vapor locking. I would start to think I was catching the rest of the pack and then the motor would just fall off again."
Until strapping into his racecar Thursday, Sprague had never made a lap around the 1.5-mile Chicagoland oval. He quickly adapted to the track and was able to run his IROC Pontiac wide-open in Turns 1 and 2. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for the race.
"I had nothing for anyone out there today and I knew that when the green flag waved," Sprague stated. " I was at least hoping to stay on the lead lap, but Buddy (Lazier) passed me pretty close to the end. I guess Dale Jarrett, Danny Lazoski and I were the unfortunate one this weekend, so maybe we'll be the lucky ones the next time."
"Today's race was a disappointment only because I felt I had a better finish than what I ended up with," continued Sprague, who pilots the No. 24 NetZero Chevy in NASCAR Busch Series competition this season. "I didn't get a chance to show what I had because of something I couldn't control. I know how much hard work is put into these four races and Jay and Barb Signore are such great people. I hate to see any of the guys out there have a bad day because all those guys that work their butts off for us deserve to see great results. I guess I'll just wait for the last IROC race of the season at Indy in a few weeks and see if I can finish off this great honor on a good note."
Sprague started the 100-mile event tied for fourth-place in the 2002 IROC point standings, but his Chicago effort dropped him into an eighth-place tie with Sterling Marlin.
The True Value IROC Series will resume Saturday, August 3, 2002 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN. The fourth and final race of the 2002 IROC season will be taped and shown Saturday, August 11, 2002 at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on ABC.