Indy IROC finale produces series-best finish for Sprague. INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 4, 2002) - Jack Sprague may not have won Saturday's fourth and final race of the True Value IROC XXVI at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the three-time NASCAR ...
Indy IROC finale produces series-best finish for Sprague.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 4, 2002) - Jack Sprague may not have won Saturday's fourth and final race of the True Value IROC XXVI at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion had a great time just the same.
"The last 15 laps out there today were awesome," said Sprague, who finished sixth in the final 2002 IROC event. "I had only run a few laps at The Brickyard previous to getting here this weekend and the guys promised me they'd give me a good race car and they sure did. It ended up being the best one I've had all year. It's too bad we didn't have a caution to bunch us all back up because I really think I had a winning car today. It just took too long for me to get the spots, but I could tell I was running some fast laps. Today was definitely the most fun race I ran all year."
Despite his lack of experience on the famed 2.5-mile Indy oval, it didn't take long for the Spring Lake, MI native to get a feel for the track. Sprague started the event in the fifth position in his rose-colored Pontiac, but dropped to the back of the field on the first lap. As the race approached the 15th circuit, Sprague's car came in and he began picking off spots making his way into the sixth position. Clearly the fastest car on the track, Sprague's only hope of closing the gap between himself and the fifth spot of eventual 2002 IROC champion Kevin Harvick would be a caution flag. Unfortunately, it never came and Sprague settled for his best race performance of the 2002 IROC season.
"It takes a long time to pass at Indy and I just ran out of time," said Sprague. "I pretty much figured I'd start out loose and should get tighter as the race went on, but it just wasn't long enough to catch Harvick. Today's race was my best because I actually raced guys for position and that's what I was hoping for."
The day proved to be a busy one for Sprague, who was doing double duty in the NASCAR Busch Series at Indianapolis Raceway Park as well.
"I'm glad the guys on my Hendrick Motorsports team were understanding with the four-race schedule - today especially," said Sprague. "I had to get out of my NetZero Chevy to fly over for this race. That wouldn't normally be that bad, but we don't get any happy hour at IRP. The Signore's did a great job with everything and it all went off without a hitch. I've already told Jay (Signore) that I would really like to be invited back next year. There are Winston Cup guys that don't have any championships and are racing IROC. I had so much fun and I would love another shot at it."
Sprague finished in the Top-10 in all four series events this season and came home eighth in the final 2002 IROC standings. Sprague earned $80,000 for the effort.