SPRAGUE STRONG WITH RUNNER-UP FINISH IN NASHVILLE "Veteran Racer Becomes Series Only Six Million Dollar Man" LEBANON, TENNESSEE (AUGUST 14, 2006) - Jack Sprague became the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' "Six Million Dollar Man" with his...
SPRAGUE STRONG WITH RUNNER-UP FINISH IN NASHVILLE
"Veteran Racer Becomes Series Only Six Million Dollar Man"
LEBANON, TENNESSEE (AUGUST 14, 2006) - Jack Sprague became the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' "Six Million Dollar Man" with his runner-up finish at Nashville Superspeedway in the Toyota Tundra 200 this weekend. The Series only three-time champion is the first driver in Series history to earn more than $6 million in winnings.
Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota were running in third place when the white flag waved to signal the final lap of the race. Sprague had to avoid wrecking front-runners Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine to finish second to race winner Johnny Benson.
With his second-place finish, the Wyler Racing team moved up five spots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings to sixth-place.
"I never would have dreamed that Skinner and Bodine would hit each other like they did," Sprague said. "But when they did I thought I had the win in my hands, but Benson got by me because I got bottled up behind the two trucks that were wrecking.
"I really wanted that guitar. I have two at home, and I wanted a third one. The guys did a great job in the pits, we had a good truck and it was a good point's day -- and that's all you can ask for at the end of the day."
Going into the Toyota Tundra 200 on Saturday, Sprague had yet to score a top-10 finish in three starts at the Nashville Superspeedway in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. The Wyler Racing team's goal was to change that stat.
Sprague started in the third spot. But at the drop of the green flag, Sprague was able to get by the two rookies in front of him to capture the lead.
The first caution waved at Lap five. Still in the lead, Sprague reported to the crew that his No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota was bottoming out on the race track and that he was a little tight off.
The No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota set the pace for the rest of the field for the first 36 laps of the race.
Under the race's fourth caution at Lap 36, Sprague brought his race truck to the attention of his pit crew. The crew changed four tires and added fuel. The crew also made an air pressure adjustment and a wedge adjustment to help the truck's tight handling condition.
Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota returned to the race track for the restart at Lap 40 in 16th-place as other trucks had pitted under an earlier caution.
By Lap 50, Sprague had moved into 13th-place, but he was still complaining of having a tight-handling truck. Just seven laps later, Sprague had moved into the top 10 and was turning some of the fastest laps on the race track.
At the midway point of the race at Lap 75, Sprague had moved into the Top Five. At Lap 76, the race's fifth caution flag waved for debris on the race track. Sprague came down pit road, and the Con-way Freight pit crew went to work to help correct the truck's tight condition.
The pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. After the quick stop, Sprague returned to the race track in fourth place.
Sprague maneuvered the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota into third place on the track by Lap 90. The No. 60 rotated between third and fourth place as the laps ticked off the board, taking over third place for good at Lap 141.
Sprague was sitting in third at Lap 149 for the green-white-checkered finish. Bodine and Skinner bumped, banged and finally wrecked coming to the checkered flag. Sprague, who was sitting in third spot directly behind the leaders, was slowed by the wrecking trucks.
Johnny Benson was able to move from fourth to first to take the victory, while Sprague piloted the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota to a second-place finish. It was the Wyler Racing team's seventh top-five and ninth top 10 of the season.
"I never imagined those guys would wreck each other," Sprague said. "I was just sitting back there, expecting to finish third or fourth. I could have pushed the issue and wrecked like they did, but I decided second was a good day."
The solid finish moved Sprague up to sixth in the points standings -- 302 points behind leader Boding and just 47 points out of fifth place.
After a weekend off, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action at Bristol Motor Speedway for a midweek show on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The race starts at 9:15 p.m. ET on SPEED and MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio.
-credit: wyler racing