Michigan: Jack Sprague preview

MOORESVILLE, NC - It is just over 150 miles from Michigan International Speedway to Jack Sprague's hometown of Spring Lake, MI. The driver of the ...

MOORESVILLE, NC - It is just over 150 miles from Michigan International Speedway to Jack Sprague's hometown of Spring Lake, MI. The driver of the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado is hoping having family and friends at the track will give him the home field advantage in Saturday's LINE-X SPRAY-ON TRUCK BEDLINERS 200 mile race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

"We have had awesome trucks almost every race," said Sprague. "We have been able to get three poles and a win so far and have led a lot of laps and run near the front putting ourselves in position for wins. But then we have had some rotten luck, things that seem so unlikely to happen that it blows my mind actually. Sometimes you make your own luck but we have just had some freaky things happen too. I am hoping racing near home with family and friends at the track will be our good luck charm."

Sprague heads to Michigan sitting ninth in the NCTS point standings, 293 behind leader Dennis Setzer, his fellow Team Silverado factory supported driver.

"This isn't exactly where we had wanted to be half way through the season," Sprague continued. "But our finishes and our points position doesn't reflect how well we have run virtually every race. With the tremendous support our IWX Racing team receives from Chevrolet, we have one of if not the best program in the series.

"Don't get me wrong, I am not underestimating our competition. The NCTS is as tough and competitive as it gets in professional racing. It is nothing like the truck series was even three years ago. There are so many teams getting support from manufacturers and are much more well funded, the level of competition is tremendous. Every race there are legitimately 12 to 15 trucks capable of running up front and contending for the win. It makes us all better but also if you are off just a tick, there are guys with a lot of experience ready to pounce and leave you in their dust as they head for the front.

In his previous seven-year stint with the NCTS from 1995 to 2001, one of the nicknames attached to Sprague was "Big Track Jack" because he was virtually unbeatable on one-mile tracks and bigger. Interestingly, that has not been entirely the case in this first full season back in the series where he holds the record of being the only three-time champion as well as other numerous records.

"It is interesting that I have been stronger than I have ever been before at smaller tracks this year," Sprague related. "After the disastrous run we had at Atlanta, we really went to work on our big track setup and have improved dramatically but since Daytona, this is the first track where drafting is really a key component to the race so we will see how it goes here at Michigan. I think we are ready and have the package to take us to the front and score another win in our Chevy Trucks Silverado."

In addition to having family and friends in attendance, Sprague and the other Team Silverado drivers will have many of the executives from GM Racing and Chevrolet as guests at the track. GM Racing and Chevrolet headquarters are in nearby Detroit, MI.

"I am looking forward to having many of the GM Racing and Chevrolet people at the track," Sprague concluded. "I don't see it as additional pressure because this Chevy Trucks Silverado team is focused on performance every race. I see it as a great way to celebrate success in victory lane with the team of people who so strongly support our team."

Practice and qualifying for the LINE-X SPRAY-ON TRUCK BEDLINERS 200 will be held Friday, July 30. The race is scheduled to start Saturday, July 31 at 1:00 PM EDT.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer