Odessa Sprague Looks for Two in a Row

Sprague seeks second straight win ODESSA, Mo. (May 21, 1998) Hendrick Motorsports/1-800-MARROW-2 driver Jack Sprague was on his way to winning the May 9 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen Speedway when broadcaster Ken ...

Sprague seeks second straight win

ODESSA, Mo. (May 21, 1998) Hendrick Motorsports/1-800-MARROW-2 driver Jack Sprague was on his way to winning the May 9 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series NAPACARD 200 at Evergreen Speedway when broadcaster Ken Squier playfully referred to him as "Half-Mile Track Jack."

It was a surprise to Sprague, the defending series champion who has achieved quite a reputation for his success on longer circuits, and is commonly known as "Mile Track Jack" or "Big Track Jack."

The win at Evergreen, in which Sprague withstood a furious late charge from short-track specialist Ron Hornaday, accomplished two important things. It extended Sprague's lead in the series standings to 18 points over Hornaday, and it proved to everybody that Sprague can win, and convincingly, on short tracks.

Sprague will carry that confidence into Saturday's Yellow Freight 200 at I-70 Speedway as he tries to post back-to-back short-track wins for the first time in his already distinguished racing career.

"I've always had a tremendous amount of confidence when it comes to the No. 24 HMS/1-800-MARROW-2 team's ability to win," Sprague said. "But the checkered flag at Evergreen was special because it got the monkey off our backs this season. Now we can move forward in reaching our goal of five wins and the 1998 truck championship."

Sprague has not enjoyed such good fortune at I-70 Speedway. In three prior visits to the Missouri facility, the No. 24 team has come away with puzzled looks rather than a finish to write home about. The best Sprague has mustered in Odessa is seventh place in 1995, his first year on the truck circuit.

"It's not a matter of not liking I-70 because I do," Sprague said. "I just haven't been able to get a handle on that place. The good news is we're coming in with a little short-track momentum after the win at Evergreen. And that's something we'll look to build on when the green flag drops this weekend."

Early in this 1998 campaign, Sprague has demonstrated the same remarkable consistency that carried him to the 1997 title. A look at most recent 1998 statistics reveals that the 33-year-old native of Spring Lake, Mich., ranks first among all truck competitors in prize money won ($127,450), miles led (319.152) and laps led (336).

Sprague, the circuit's all-time leading money winner, also shares the lead in five other race categories this season.

"That just comes from doing your job and I'm not just talking about myself," Sprague said. "When everybody on this team contributes the way they always do, those are the type of results you get. I can't do much of anything good behind the wheel of a bad truck. And thanks to Dennis Connor and the guys, I don't have to worry about that."

Source: NASCAR Online

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