Sprague, NetZero Chicago preview

Sprague, NetZero Platinum Chevy Reado For Chicago CICERO, IL (August 11, 2001) - When the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debuted in 1995, the division raced in places like Flemington, NJ, Odessa, MO and Evergreen, WA. Jack Sprague, the only...

Sprague, NetZero Platinum Chevy Reado For Chicago

CICERO, IL (August 11, 2001) - When the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debuted in 1995, the division raced in places like Flemington, NJ, Odessa, MO and Evergreen, WA. Jack Sprague, the only driver to compete in all 162 NCTS events since the inception of the series, remembers all those places and has seen the division grow from those small cities and raceways to new venues like Chicago Motor Speedway.

"Certainly, Chicago is a huge market and that's the reason we are there," said Sprague, driver of the No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Silverado. "That's the type of thing that this sport needs. It exposes a lot of new fans to our series and it's good for NASCAR in general."

Sprague has also been good for the series. As the most successful driver in the history of the division, Sprague has given the series a recognizable star both on the track and in the media.

"I never really set out to be a 'star' in the series," said Sprague. "I've always tried to do the very best I could do and, fortunately, my association with Hendrick Motorsports has allowed me to do that."

The list of Sprague's NCTS records are almost too numerous to mention. The all-time leading money winner (more than $4 million) has won the most pole positions (18), notched the most Top-5 (95) and Top-10 finishes (126), led the most miles and laps, and completed the most miles and laps. The winner of three events and five pole positions this season, the 1997 and 1999 NCTS champion is currently third in the 2001 title chase and a strong favorite to win the points battle again.

To do that, Sprague and his NetZero Platinum Chevy will have to post a solid run on the very tricky flat, one-mile Chicago Motor Speedway oval this weekend.

"It's extremely hard to make a race vehicle handle around Chicago Speedway," said Sprague, who will also have the logo of the Chicago Rush, an Arena Football League team on his NetZero Platinum Chevy for the Windy City race. "The straightaways run forever into a pair of paper clip-shaped ends. You use a ton of brake at that place and you have to shift. It's definitely not your typical oval racetracks and it's not one of my favorite places by any means."

Nor should it be considering Sprague's results in the inaugural Sears Craftsman 175 last year. The all-time leader in NCTS superspeedway wins with 12, Sprague was looking to add to that total at Chicago only to see his hopes take a wrong turn early in the race.

"I got tagged because the sway bar on my truck came unhooked on the second lap of the race," said Sprague of his Lap 27 spin in Turn 4. "The front sway bar came loose and I was going backwards in the field pretty quickly. It was just a matter of time before someone ran over me. It didn't take long. We never did get the thing hooked up and it made for a pretty miserable day eventually finishing 17th. I'm hoping we'll do better than that this time around."

Sprague's red, white and blue NetZero Platinum Chevy will take the green flag in this year's Sears Craftsman 175 at Chicago Motor Speedway Saturday, August 18. The 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast by MRN Radio.

-NetZero-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Sprague
Teams Hendrick Motorsports