Richmond: Jack Sprague race report

CONCORD, NC (May 5, 2003) - It was a night of full contact racing at Richmond International Raceway as Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team took home 26th place in the wreck-filled Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event Saturday. "I...

CONCORD, NC (May 5, 2003) - It was a night of full contact racing at Richmond International Raceway as Jack Sprague and the NetZero Racing team took home 26th place in the wreck-filled Pontiac Excitement 400 NASCAR Winston Cup event Saturday.

"I felt like I was like a pinball out there," said Sprague. "We got hit everywhere by everyone. We got spun in the beginning of the race by the No. 45 (Kyle Petty) and got a lap down, but we were able to get that lap back and we had a chance for a pretty decent finish. If we could have just had a little luck on our side, we might have had something tonight."

It was a typical short-track battle on the tight, three-quarter mile Richmond Fairgrounds oval with Sprague radioing crew chief Tony Furr his NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was experiencing handling problems in the early going.

Sprague was dealt the first blow of the night when he was hit from behind by Petty as they exited Turn 4. The contact sent Sprague into a wild spin down the main straight which, fortunately, caused only minor damage to his No. 0 Pontiac. Unfortunately, it put Sprague a lap down to the leaders,

Sprague ran one lap down for the first half of the event before a well-timed yellow flag enabled him to pass the leaders and get back on the lead lap. Now 24th in the running order, Sprague's good fortune was short-lived as he was spun again by Petty on Lap 294. A flat left-side tire forced him to head down pit road, once again losing a lap. Sprague remained a lap down the remainder of the event before rain cut the race seven laps short of it's scheduled 400-lap distance leaving the NetZero Pontiac with a hard-fought 26th-place finish.

"The NetZero Pontiac was pretty good as the race went on and the changes that Tony made to the car helped," Sprague stated. "Then Kyle hit me again and we lost another lap. That was the final straw."

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will take next weekend off before heading to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Harrisburg, N.C. for the running of The Winston Open and The Winston. Qualifying for the Winston Open will take place Friday, May 16, with the race the following evening at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on FX and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty , Jack Sprague