CICERO, IL -- ...
CICERO, IL -- #24 Team GMAC driver Jack Sprague made his mark and earned the moniker "Mile Track Jack" at one-mile venues during the early portion of his stellar career.
As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series preps for its inaugural event at Chicago Motor Speedway, Sprague looks to extend his legacy as Mile Track Jack in Sunday's running of the Sears Craftsman 175 (ESPN, 12:30 p.m. EDT).
Noteworthy items include:
¨ Sprague, who won his first career short track race at Nashville in 1997, looked like he had another in the making two weekends ago. The #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet driver led the first 148 laps of the most recent Nashville race before suffering an engine failure.
¨ Of his 19 career victories on the NCTS circuit, six of those have come on one-mile tracks (Phoenix -- 3, Nazareth -- 2, Milwaukee -- 1). That's 31.5% of his total checkered-flag runs!
¨ The Chicago Motor Speedway is a one-mile paved oval speedway with six degrees of banking in the corners and two degrees in the straights.
¨ The Sears Craftsman 175 of Chicago is the second event to be held in Illinois this season. Sprague won the first Illinois race, which was also held on a Sunday at Gateway International Raceway.
¨ Gateway isn't exactly a one-mile venue, but that didn't seem to bother Mile Track Jack as he conquered the 1.25-mile raceway back on May 7.
Sprague's thoughts heading into Sunday's running of the Sears Craftsman 175:
"Any time you visit a track for the first time, it's cause for some excitement," Sprague said. "I thought we were going to throw the monkey off our back in Nashville. The #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet was stout and we definitely had the truck to beat, but racing luck wasn't with us again. What are you gonna do? You just move on to the next race and compete like heck. A victory at Chicago would be a nice feather in Team GMAC's cap and it would definitely erase the bad memory from Nashville."