BAD LUCK BUG BITES SPRAGUE IN INDY "Solid Top-10 Run Ruined With Late Race Incident" CLERMONT, INDIANA (AUGUST 7, 2006) - Coming off a victory at the Memphis Motorsports Park in the most recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race just two weeks...
BAD LUCK BUG BITES SPRAGUE IN INDY
"Solid Top-10 Run Ruined With Late Race Incident"
CLERMONT, INDIANA (AUGUST 7, 2006) - Coming off a victory at the Memphis Motorsports Park in the most recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race just two weeks ago, Jack Sprague and the Wyler Racing team were hoping to repeat the magic at another short track.
With a solid record that includes two wins and one pole at the O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Sprague felt confident that his No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota would be a force to reckon with at the .686-mile oval on Friday night.
"With one win under our belt, this Wyler Racing team is hungry for more wins and I can't think of a better place to get our second win than at Indianapolis," Sprague said before the race.
But the three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and the Wyler Racing team would have a difficult night at the short track.
Sprague's No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota would post some of the fastest laps in both practices at O'Reilly Raceway Park on Friday afternoon. The Wyler Racing machine would start in ninth-place for the Power Stroke Diesel 200.
Sprague lost one spot with the drop of the green flag and fell into 10th spot, where he held his position. At Lap 23, Sprague reported to the crew that his truck was bad tight from the center off, which made it difficult getting into the corners.
A single truck incident at Lap 35 nearly spelled trouble for Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota. A truck came down on the No. 60 and spun, but the Wyler Racing machine escaped without any damage.
Despite the handling difficulties, Sprague was able to move back into the ninth spot by Lap 40.
The caution flag waved at Lap 58, and the Wyler Racing crew elected to bring Sprague down pit road. The crew changed four ties, added fuel, took a rubber out of the left rear and made a track bar adjustment.
Even with the numerous changes, the Wyler Racing pit crew had a solid stop sending Sprague back out on track in 13th spot for the restart at Lap 62.
Despite all the changes, Sprague reported to the crew that his truck was still way too tight. By Lap 85, Sprague had fallen to 15th-place on the race track.
As the laps ticked off the board, Sprague's truck began to come back to his liking. By Lap 100, Sprague had moved back into 13th-spot. Just 10 laps later at Lap 110, Sprague had moved into the top 10. He was posting some of the fastest times on the track.
When the caution waved at Lap 125, Sprague came down pit road for what should have been his last pit stop. The team pit crew made an air pressure adjustment, a track bar adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel. Sprague returned to the track in 10th-place.
Back on track, Sprague began to make his way through the field. At Lap 168, Sprague was running in eighth-place when he and the No. 75 truck got into each other. Sprague was sent into the wall.
Sprague came down pit road at Lap 169 so the crew could survey the damage. The Wyler Racing pit crew changed two right side tires and pulled out some of the sheet metal damage.
Sprague returned to the track and came down pit road a second time at Lap 171 for more work to be done to front end of the truck.
The No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota returned to the race track at Lap 176 in 30th-spot, four laps down. Sprague was able to gain two more spots before the checkered flag fell to finish in 28th-place.
"Needless to say, it was a disappointing night for this Con-way Freight team," Sprague said. "After coming off of a win a couple of weeks ago, we really wanted to have another good finish this weekend.
"I don't really know what happened out there on the track. We were having a good top-10 run, and before I knew it, we were in the wall. I guess it was just a racing deal, but it was a bad deal because we lost so many positions in the points. We'll just have to get everything ready and go get them at Nashville."
Sprague fell four places in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standing to 11th-place in points. He is 330 points behind leader Todd Bodine and just nine points out of 10th-place.
Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota returns to action in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, Aug. 12.
-credit: wyler racing