Nazareth Sprague Goes for Three

Sprague's record a Catch 22 for rivals NAZARETH, Pa. (July 8, 1998) Jack Sprague presently leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings by a 72-point margin over perennial rival Ron Hornaday. And his third-place finish in last Saturday's...

Sprague's record a Catch 22 for rivals

NAZARETH, Pa. (July 8, 1998) Jack Sprague presently leads the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings by a 72-point margin over perennial rival Ron Hornaday. And his third-place finish in last Saturday's DieHard 200 at The Milwaukee Mile, which came on the heels of Sprague's series-leading third Bud Pole award, extended his series record for consecutive top-10 finishes to an eye-popping 22.

Points, pole positions, NASCAR records -- Sprague has been amassing them all at a torrid pace. Sprague stormed to the 1997 championship by the largest margin (232 points) in series history. And he now has 11 poles to complement nine career victories. And then there's the matter of prize money, which Sprague has collected at an unprecedented clip. As the all-time leading money winner with $1,790,243, Sprague is on pace to become the circuit's first $2 million man in September.

And we haven't even discussed the site of this weekend's race, the one-mile paved speedway in Nazareth that could be "Mile Track" Jack's biggest reason to grin. In the two-year history of truck racing at the Penske-owned facility, only one driver has experienced the trip to Victory Lane: Sprague.

"I have a lot to be happy about -- especially driving for Hendrick Motorsports," said Sprague, Nazareth's two-time defending race champion. "They allow me to keep my talents on display. And really, running to win is what makes any driver tick. That's why I save my biggest smiles for Victory Lane."

The near-bankless layout (ranging from only three to six degrees in the turns) plays perfectly into the hands of the circuit's most-renowned master of the mile.

Sprague knows the first key to success in Sunday's race will actually come on Saturday, when a maximum of 36 trucks will qualify for the NAPA Autocare 200. The talented 33-year-old native of Spring Lake, Mich., started third and second, respectively, in his two previous wins at Nazareth. And during this 1998 season, Sprague has produced an average starting position of 3.7, never once failing to crack the top 10 of any field.

"The guys in the shop really deserve most of the credit for our qualifying success," Sprague said. "As the driver, I have the easy part in that deal. And it amazes me the caliber of truck that Dennis Connor and the Hendrick Motorsports/1-800-MARROW-2 crew give me each week."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague
Teams Hendrick Motorsports