Jack Sprague Martinsville Speedway Preview

Martinsville, VA---Jack Sprague has a habit of doing what has never been done. Whether it's blazing the fastest qualifying lap or being the only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor to start all 125 races in the history of the circuit,...

Martinsville, VA---Jack Sprague has a habit of doing what has never been done.

Whether it's blazing the fastest qualifying lap or being the only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor to start all 125 races in the history of the circuit, Sprague simply has a knack for achieving newfound success on the track.

Should Sprague defend his 1999 title as Craftsman Truck Series champion, he will become the only man to win three NCTS championships in a career. One stepping-stone for the driver of the GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado will be the $400,037 NAPA 250 on Saturday, April 8 at Martinsville Speedway. Sprague has run well at Martinsville in the past. He finished third in 1996 and 1999, 10th in 1997 and 1998 and 20th in 1995.

Sprague is currently in 8th in the point's race after three races in 2000, just 116 behind points leader Andy Houston. After winning his first series crown in 1997 and reaching the top again last season, Sprague is trying to permanently etch his name in the record book in 2000.

"That is obviously our goal for this season," Sprague said recently. "But I want to win some more of the battles this year on the way to winning the war. It's just in my nature to want to win every single time the truck is on the track. As competitive as this game is, though, we'll take as many victories as we can get."

In much the same fashion that his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Terry Labonte sets the "ironman" standard in Winston Cup, Sprague shows up to play every race day in the truck series. And he's justifiably proud of his durability and work ethic, after six stellar years of competition.

"The chance for injury is very real every time you strap in for a race," Sprague said. "I've been fortunate to get through pretty much unscathed in this series. I love coming to work, and that's never going to change. I get to do what I love for a living, and believe me, I give everything in terms of effort each time out there."

Entering the 2000 campaign, Sprague and longtime crew chief Dennis Connor had teamed for 16 victories and 13 pole positions. This terrific tandem has been together since Sprague joined Hendrick Motorsports for seven races during the 1995 season.

"Dennis and the rest of our crew are as much a part of Team GMAC's success as I am," Sprague said. "In most cases, it's the driver who gets all the credit because he's the most visible member of the team. But these guys don' t get nearly as much attention as they deserve."

This will be the sixth truck race at Martinsville. Jimmy Hensley is the defending champion while other races have been won by Jay Sauter, Rich Bickle, Mike Skinner and Joe Ruttman.

Craftsman Truck time trials are at 1:40 p.m. on Friday, April 7 to determine their 36 starting positions followed at 3 p.m. by Bud Pole qualifying for the Goody's Body Pain 500 Winston Cup race that starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 9.

Mike Bliss holds the NAPA 250 qualifying record with a speed of 94.275 miles per hour in a Ford.

The truck race, with tickets going for $30 and $5 for children 6-12, gets the green flag at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Jay Sauter , Andy Houston , Jack Sprague , Joe Ruttman , Jimmy Hensley , Mike Bliss
Teams Hendrick Motorsports