FONTANA, CA (April 27, 2002) - Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Jack Sprague rolled to a fifth-place finish in the second race of the 2002 True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) Saturday at California...
FONTANA, CA (April 27, 2002) - Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Jack Sprague rolled to a fifth-place finish in the second race of the 2002 True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) Saturday at California Speedway.
"Another 25 Laps and I'd have been right up there for the win," said Sprague, the only NCTS driver to ever be invited to compete in the prestigious IROC Series. Running the Busch race earlier today definitely helped because I wound up driving the same groove."
The 50-lap, 100-mile race on the two-mile California oval saw Sprague start from the ninth position. Battling top NASCAR Winston Cup stars Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart and event winner Kevin Harvick along with open-wheel hot-shots Scott Sharp and Sam Hornish, Jr., Sprague, driving the white No. 5 Pontiac was shuffled to the back of the field at the start of the race. He regrouped and was able to make his way into the seventh position by Lap 14 and from there on, dug hard to earn his second Top-5 IROC finish of the season.
"Hornish jumped the start and I just got shuffled back," said Sprague. "It's so hard to pass in these cars, so it took a few laps to work my way up. The car was a little tight, but pretty darn good. If there were more laps to run, I'm pretty sure I would have caught the leaders."
The finish left Sprague, the driver of the No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Busch Series this season is tied for fourth in the 2002 IROC standings heading into the next event at Chicagoland Speedway later this summer.
"I know I have a busy schedule this year, but I'd like to see a few more IROC races on my calendar," said Sprague. "They're just that much fun to race in, no matter how you finish. It's a real honor to be racing with the kind of drivers in the IROC Series. I'm already looking forward to the next race at Chicagoland."
The True Value IROC Series will resume Saturday, July 13, 2002 at Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL. The third of the four races will be taped and telecast at a later date.