DARLINGTON, SC (May 6, 2001) - Jack Sprague has earned a lot of respect in becoming one of the top drivers in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. When it comes to competing at Darlington Raceway, the next stop on the 2001 NCTS ...
DARLINGTON, SC (May 6, 2001) - Jack Sprague has earned a lot of respect in becoming one of the top drivers in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. When it comes to competing at Darlington Raceway, the next stop on the 2001 NCTS tour, it's Sprague who's handling out the compliments.
"You really have to respect the track at Darlington," said Sprague, driver of the No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado. "The two ends of the racetrack are distinctly different. In Turns 1 and 2, you run right up next to the wall and you're wide open all they way through the corner. In Turns 3 and 4, you have to let off early and use a lot of brake to slow down the truck. There, the fastest way around is in the middle groove. No matter where you are, you always have to maintain that respect for the racetrack. If you don't you're going to be in the wall in a heartbeat."
While this will be the inaugural Truck Series effort at "The Track Too Tough To Tame," it won't be Sprague's first visit to the historic 1.366-mile oval opened in 1950.
"I've raced at Darlington a couple of times in a NASCAR Busch Series car and I really liked it," said Sprague. "One year, I think it was 1991 or `1992, I drove Frank Cicci's car and we qualified third. We were running third late in the race and with eight laps to go, we got a flat tire. That was pretty disappointing, but it was still a good run for us. I'm really looking forward to running there again."
A victory by Sprague at Darlington would only add to what is the most impressive record by any driver in the history of the series. The two-time NCTS champion (1997, 1999) has scored more Top-5 and Top-10 finishes, led and completed more laps, and won more money than any other driver. With 19 career wins, Sprague would like nothing better than to score another victory, especially at Darlington.
"That would be so sweet for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and for all the folks at NetZero," Sprague stated. "Darlington is the kind of place where you usually slip and slide around quite a bit. With the new tires that we have, I'm not sure that will be the case as much as it used to be. We usually do better when everyone else starts to slide around. No matter what they're doing, we're going to have to be better."
Sprague, the only driver to compete in all 151 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events since the inception of the division in 1995, will take the green flag in the Darlington 200 at Darlington Raceway Saturday, May 12, at 4 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast by MRN radio.