SPRAGUE GETS MONKEY OFF BACK WITH MARTINSVILLE WIN "Three-Time Champion Gets Good Break For A Change And Soars To Victory" MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 23, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota team finally got the monkey off...
SPRAGUE GETS MONKEY OFF BACK WITH MARTINSVILLE WIN
"Three-Time Champion Gets Good Break For A Change And Soars To Victory"
MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 23, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota team finally got the monkey off their backs and returned to Victory Lane at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200 on Saturday afternoon for their second win of the 2006 season.
Sprague won the race from the pole position and picked up three spots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings to move into eighth place.
The win -- the 27th of Sprague's career -- was an unbelievable feat in Sprague's eyes.
"It's huge for me because I don't ever run good here. I have a couple of third place finishes, but I have always struggled every time I came here. I even struggled with Tony (Furr) here last fall and earlier this spring," Sprague said.
"But we came back here this time with a whole different set up thanks to Jamie Jones on the 11 (Red Horse Racing), and we went the way he was going. I knew yesterday we had a really good truck in our Con-way Freight Toyota. We were good in both practices, and we won the pole, so I knew the truck was good. Finally it was just our day. Everything went our way."
And after a string of bad luck in four consecutive races, Sprague and his Wyler Racing team weren't used to having things go well. To help change their luck, Sprague and the team were willing to try anything to turn around a "miserable month." A horseshoe was in the pit stall and a stuffed monkey sat on top of the box during the race.
After 200 laps, Sprague and his team celebrated with the monkey in Victory Lane.
"The guys on the team got a big old stuffed monkey after Talladega because nothing has been going right for us. The past four races have been miserable," Sprague said. "At Bristol, we were running fifth and cut a tire. New Hampshire was lousy. At Las Vegas, I spun out and finished 13th. And at Talladega, we were running second and broke. Nothing has been going right. We had four miserable races in a row, and in three of those we had a top five truck. So the guys thought if they befriended the monkey that it would all be good. I think we're going to keep it around for a while."
Starting from the pole, Sprague led the field for 31 laps before pitting under the second caution flag of the day. Sprague told his team the truck was just a little tight off the corners. Sprague came in at Lap 32 for left side tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Sprague returned to the track in fourth place, but he wasted no time trying to make up the track position he had lost by pitting. In just 10 laps, Sprague had moved into third place. By Lap 71, Sprague had moved into the second spot.
While in the runner up spot, Sprague told his team that he was just a little tight off behind the No. 9 truck of Ted Musgrave. Sprague followed in Musgrave's tire tracks lap after lap, getting close to the leader but unable to pass him.
"I'm better than him," Sprague told his team at Lap 123. "I can get to him, but then I get tight."
Just laps later, Musgrave was black-flagged by NASCAR for jumping the restart. Sprague took over as the leader of the race at Lap 139, and he never looked back capturing the second win for Wyler Racing in the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota.
After the race, Sprague acknowledged that Musgrave was tough.
"I'm not sure I could have passed him at the end," Sprague said. "But I do think the fastest truck won today. We finally had everything go our way today."
With his second win of the season, Sprague moved up to eighth in the points standings. Sprague is 469 points behind leader Todd Bodine and just 118 points out of fifth place.
Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota will return to action Saturday, Oct. 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The green flag drops on the Easy Care Vehicle Services 200 at 5:15 p.m. ET.
-credit: wyler racing