SPRAGUE BATTLES FOR TOP-10 FINISH IN DOVER "Three-Time Champion Fights For Vital Track Position" DOVER,DELAWARE (JUNE 5, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota team bravely battled the 'Monster Mile' and the handling of ...
SPRAGUE BATTLES FOR TOP-10 FINISH IN DOVER
"Three-Time Champion Fights For Vital Track Position"
DOVER,DELAWARE (JUNE 5, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota team bravely battled the 'Monster Mile' and the handling of their race truck at Dover International Speedway this weekend to come away with Wyler Racing's fifth top-10 finish of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
"I'm not disappointed with this finish at all," Sprague said. "We really had to work on our truck this weekend because we couldn't find just the right set-up, but the guys didn't give up. They had great pit stops, and I was able to make up some ground on the track. This Con-way Freight team really worked hard this weekend, given the difficulties we had, I am pleased to come away with a ninth-place finish."
Sprague qualified the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota in the 23rd position for the AAA Insurance 200 on Friday morning. But with a lot of track activity during the day, a dramatic change in weather and even a slight rain delay, the teams were not sure what to expect during the race.
When the green flag waved, Sprague was geared up for a solid run and it didn't take any time for Sprague to start his march through the field with the No. 60 Toyota. By Lap five, Sprague had already picked up three positions.
Sprague and the Con-way Freight Toyota continued to move through the field with each lap in the early stages of the race. When the caution waved at Lap 19, Sprague was posted in 17th place. He told his crew that the truck was a little too free off the corners when he was by himself on the track.
The team elected not to pit under the first caution period. By Lap 36, Sprague was turning the fastest lap of any truck on the track in 14th place. Unlike recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races, the event at Dover had several long green flag runs. Despite having some handling issues, Sprague hung on to 14th position until the second caution was displayed at Lap 63.
Under the caution period, Sprague brought the No. 60 Toyota to the attention of the Con-way Freight crew. The crew made an air pressure adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel. Sprague returned to the track in 13th place.
Despite the changes to the truck, Sprague continued to battle a loose handling condition as the race returned to green. By Lap 98 as the third caution waved, Sprague had lost two spots to 15th place. Sprague told the crew that the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota was way too lose. Again, the team elected to bring Sprague down pit road. In addition to four tires and fuel, the Con-way Freight pit crew made an air pressure adjustment and a track bar adjustment in hopes of helping improve the handling of the truck.
Sprague returned to the track in 14th place as the green flag waved at Lap 104. With the adjustments, Sprague was once again poised to begin picking up ground on the rest of the field. By Lap 136, Sprague had moved into 12th place. Sprague was turning quick laps in the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota. At Lap 152, Sprague was in 11th place. He told his crew that the truck needed a little more help if he was going to be able to break into the Top 10. He was still having handling issues.
When the caution waved at Lap 158 for a wreck on the front stretch, Sprague came down pit road once more for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. He returned to the track at lap in 12th place, and the race restarted at Lap 164.
Sprague was determined to bring home a Top-10 finish for the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota. It took 25 laps, but Sprague took over the 10th position on the race track at Lap 189. Sprague was able to pick up one more position on the track as he moved up to ninth-place at Lap 197, which is where he would finish.
"The truck was so loose that it was like driving on egg shells out there for most of the race," Sprague said. "There was more passing out there today than last week at Mansfield, but track position was really key and we got behind with the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota from the drop of the green flag. I really think that crew chief Tony Furr and the Con-way Freight pit crew had given me a Top-five race truck, but I'm happy to come away with a ninth-place finish."
With Sprague's fifth Top 10 finish of the year, he maintained his sixth-place point's position in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship points standings. Sprague is just five points out of fifth place.