Jack Sprague, driver of the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota, is the only three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion. This weekend Sprague will race in the Con-way Freight 200 at his home track, Michigan International Speedway. The race begins...
Jack Sprague, driver of the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota, is the only three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion. This weekend Sprague will race in the Con-way Freight 200 at his home track, Michigan International Speedway. The race begins on Saturday, June 17 at 3:15 p.m. ET.
Q: You are sitting fifth in points with four top-fives and five top-10 finishes this season. Talk about your 2006 season so far in the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota with a relatively new race team in Wyler Racing.
Sprague: I think it is going pretty decent. We've had a couple of catastrophes, but nothing major. Every week I feel like this team is getting better and better as a team, as a whole and meshing better. This is all a brand new team. This team is not even a year old. So it's going to take a little bit of time to click and to be able to race the Todd Bodines and Germains who have been together for several years and things of that nature. I think it's coming a long really nicely. I have a great sponsor with Con-way Freight and Bicycle Poker Chips and all the associates we have. We've got a lot of support and I'm pretty proud of the way it is coming along.
Q: What does it mean to have your sponsor also sponsor the race at your home track?
Sprague: Well, it's awesome. If it were somewhere like Phoenix, where I've won several races at and run really well at, I'd be really pumped up and excited but I'm a little nervous because for some reason I've never had a really good run at Michigan. It is my home state. It's Con-way's home state. I've got a weird, funny feeling that we're going to run really well here this weekend. So hopefully come Saturday afternoon when it is all over with everybody will be happy and all the Con-way folks will be proud. You know, they're having a great time, and we're proud to have them as a sponsor. I've had a lot of great sponsors over the years, and these guys are right up there at the top. They're really involved. They enjoy what they're doing. They're really happy about sponsoring the Wylers, along with me driving the No. 60 Toyota. It's a pretty good time right now.
Q: The run that Toyota has had in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been pretty incredible this year. Are the teams doing anything differently? What do they need to do to continue their momentum into Nextel Cup next season?
Sprague: I don't think their teams are doing anything different other than learning more and more week in and week out. Last year when I was racing in a Chevrolet, the Toyotas weren't dominating the Series then. I raced with them, I ran upfront with them, I out ran them. Toward the end of the year, Todd (Bodine) and Germain Racing got it going on. This year, most of the Toyotas have it going on. The Toyotas aren't any better body-wise. From the firewall back, all these trucks are exactly the same. The only difference with them is the hood and the nose, which everybody is fairly close there. That being said, Toyota just does a really good job of having really good people and really good engineers and being extremely thorough in not leaving any stone unturned. They do everything they can to go fast and to win races and win a championship. Now it has taken them a few years because they started this a few years ago (2004 was the first season for Toyota). I don't see them doing anything different in the Cup Series. They're going to eventually be a forced to be reckoned with, and I don't think it will take very long.
Q: Talk about the relationship you have with Crew Chief Tony Furr?
Sprague: I've known Tony (Furr) since 1987. I drove his Late Model car for a few races at the end of the year. We won all but one race that we ran together. I've known him ever since then. Actually, we raced together at HAAS-CNC Racing NEXTEL Cup Car several years ago in 2003 for four or five races. We've just known each other for a long time. He's a lot of fun to work with. He's just a racer. He wants to go win races, so it works pretty good.
Q: Are you still content with your role in racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series? What does your future hold in the sport?
Sprague: Still the same thing I've said all along. I like the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. This is a Series that fits my life. I've got an 11-year-old daughter, and she has to be No. 1. She has to be my priority to do the best I can in raising her and getting her a good start in her life. Racing in the truck series, I can have a career and do right by her also. If I didn't feel like I could do right by her, I wouldn't even do this. I would get some 9 to 5 job, but this works pretty well. I have a great relationship with her, so this is what I am going to do.
Q: How do you get to Victory Lane at Michigan?
Sprague: You're asking me? That's pretty good.(Laughing) I don't know. It's a weird place. I'm not even sure I know exactly where to drive on it, it's so wide and has so many grooves. I think it is probably the same as anywhere else. You've got to have a lot of motor and you've got to have a great body, and I think we have both. We're taking a brand new truck there, and obviously I always have really good motors with the Toyota motors. Like I said, I've got a weird feeling that we're going to run really good here. If we come out of here with a top-five finish, I would be ecstatic. A win would be awesome. Right now, we just need to pick away at the points and see if we can get up there and challenge for this championship. Every week, we're getting better and better and more consistent. The bads aren't as bad as they were at the beginning of the year. We're narrowing down the good and the bad area, and that's what we need to do.
Q: Closing thoughts?
Sprague: Hopefully, everyone will watch the race in Michigan this Saturday. And hopefully we will do Con-way proud.