HUNTERSVILLE, NC (June 23, 2003) - Jack Sprague and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team got their first taste of NASCAR Winston Cup road racing this weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Sprague was an innocent bystander in an accident...
HUNTERSVILLE, NC (June 23, 2003) - Jack Sprague and the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team got their first taste of NASCAR Winston Cup road racing this weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Sprague was an innocent bystander in an accident on Lap 59 of the 110-lap event, which left his NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac battered and bruised and in the 39th position when the checkered flag flew.
Sprague posted a speed of 91.573 miles per hour around the 1.99-mile road course during his qualifying run on Friday afternoon and lined up 29th on the starting grid for the first road course event of the season. The green flag flew for the start of the event and Sprague spent the early stages of the race patiently making his way through traffic on the tricky track. A scheduled pit stop at Lap 35 allowed the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team to change four tires and fill the car with fuel.
Unfortunately, Sprague was blocked in his pit stall and lost valuable time maneuvering the No. 0 Pontiac Grand Prix out of the pits. Sprague radioed to crew chief Tony Furr shortly after the stop that the car had become tight in the middle of the corners and loose off. Furr made plans to make tire pressure and track bar adjustments to the car during the next stop, which came at Lap 53. Six laps later, Sprague was involved in an incident in turn seven with Kyle Petty, who had spun off course. In an effort to get his car back on track, Petty pulled out in front of Sprague and the No. 30 car driven by Steve Park. The accident resulted in heavy front-end damage to the NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac and Sprague was forced to drive onto pit road for extensive repairs to the car. The Haas CNC Racing team finished the event in 39th place, 15 laps down to the leaders.
"I was trying to be patient and not make any mistakes," said Sprague. "We got a little screwed up in the pits on our first stop and got blocked in, but we were coming back from it. The NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac was tight in and loose off, but we probably had a Top-25 car. Kyle (Petty) came out of nowhere and just tore up our front end. I don't know what happened. I guess he didn't see me. After that, it was over."
Following the final weekend off before a grueling 20-race stretch of events, the NetZero Racing team heads back to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway where the team qualified 24th and finished 14th in the opening race of the 2003 season. Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 will take place Thursday, July 3, with the drop of the green flag scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on NBC and will be broadcast worldwide by MRN Radio.