Sprague, Netzero Chevy Disappointed At Kansas Mechanical Woes Again Plague Sprague, Netzero Chevrolet KANSAS CITY, KS (July 7, 2001) - The O'Reilly 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the all-new Kansas Speedway proved to be a bittersweet...
Sprague, Netzero Chevy Disappointed At Kansas
Mechanical Woes Again Plague Sprague, Netzero Chevrolet
KANSAS CITY, KS (July 7, 2001) - The O'Reilly 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the all-new Kansas Speedway proved to be a bittersweet affair for Jack Sprague and his NetZero Platinum Chevrolet. On one hand, Sprague, who led a good portion of the race, was disappointed his chances of winning went up in smoke with a blown engine on Lap 139. On the other, Sprague was happy his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Ricky Hendrick, scored his first-ever NCTS win in the event.
"This is so great for Ricky and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports," said Sprague, who was officially credited with 23rd place. "I really thought we were going to win. The NetZero Platinum Chevy was totally hooked up and we had something go wrong in the motor. I think we broke a lifter and that killed our chances. If I couldn't win, I'm so happy Ricky did. It was just a matter of time before he was going to get a win."
Sprague had survived a duel for the lead with last week's winner Ted Musgrave and was pulling away from the field when he headed toward pit road for his final pit stop of the day on Lap 131. With more than a four-second advantage in place, the two tires and gas stop appeared to be routine. Unfortunately, it proved to be anything but that.
"I think we dropped a cylinder," radioed Sprague as he exited pit road.
Just one lap back at speed proved Sprague right as his Chevy sputtered and began to belch smoke out of the exhaust pipes. Finally on Lap 139, Sprague called it a day as he made the hard left turn into the garage area.
"I get paid to drive that truck, I don't get paid to build the motors," said Sprague, who led twice for 78 laps. "I'm very disappointed. I'm doing all I can do. It just seems like we just can't get to the end of these things."
Sprague still managed to stay in third place in the 2001 NCTS championship chase despite the disappointing finish. The Spring Lake, MI driver is 94 points out of the top spot behind leader Scott Riggs.
Next up for Sprague and the NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado will be the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday, July 14. The event will take the green flag at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will be telecast live on ESPN. MRN Radio will also broadcast the 13th of 24 NCTS events this season.