DOVER, DE (May 27, 2001) - Over the course of a racing career, every driver is going to have his or her share hard crashes. For Jack Sprague, one of those crashes came in last year's inaugural MBNA E-Commerce 200 at Dover Downs International...
DOVER, DE (May 27, 2001) - Over the course of a racing career, every driver is going to have his or her share hard crashes. For Jack Sprague, one of those crashes came in last year's inaugural MBNA E-Commerce 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway.
"That might have been the hardest hit I've ever taken in my career," said Sprague of the Lap 131 accident in Turn 3. "I went into the corner and all of a sudden, the truck just took off. There was nothing I could do. I was just hanging on."
Sprague, who qualified fifth and ran in the Top-5 all day long, was shaken by the incident.
"The impact totally knocked the wind out of me," Sprague stated. "My spotter was calling me on the radio to see if I was okay, but I was so out of breath that I couldn't talk back. I was trying, but nothing was coming out. I know everyone was kind of scared. So was I. I not interested in doing that again."
Despite the abrupt ending and the 27th-place finish that went with it, Sprague is looking forward to a return to Dover's "Monster Mile" for this year's MBNA E-Commerce event.
"Before that happened last year, I was having a pretty good time," said Sprague, who will pilot the No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado in the Friday, June 1 event. "Dover is a wild place. You have to be on your guard every second, but it's a fun place to race. The straights at Dover are banked more than the turns are at some of the other tracks we race at. You really carry a lot of speed into the corner, actually driving down the hill in to the banking. It's a strange sensation. If your truck is running good, it's a lot of fun. If not, it's a pretty miserable place."
So far this season, Sprague, the 1997 and 1999 NCTS champion, has had his share of ups and downs. A second at Bakersfield, CA and a pair of third-place efforts at Homestead, FL and Fountain, CO, have offset the disappointment of mechanical failures and pit road misfortunes over the first seven events of the season. In each of the events, the Spring Lake, MI native was among the leaders and a threat to win only to come up short at the finish. A winner of 19 career NCTS events, Sprague feels he's overdue for a return trip to Victory Lane.
"We've had a shot in every race this season," said Sprague. "My Hendrick Motorsports team has these NetZero Platinum Chevy trucks better prepared than any equipment I've ever had. We just have had some bad luck. We're going to turn that around at Dover. After last year, I feel like I've already used up my bad luck there."
The MBNA E-Commerce 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway. will take the green flag at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Friday, June 1, and will be telecast on a same-day, tape-delayed basis at 8 p.m. by ESPN. The race will be broadcast live as it happens by MRN radio.