Sprague ready to rumble at Loudon

LOUDEN, New Hampshire - ...

LOUDEN, New Hampshire - #24 GMAC driver Jack Sprague is ready to rumble as he drives into New Hampshire International Speedway for the New England 200 on Saturday.

Here's why. Sprague is one serious competitor. He is also the two-time series champion. He has yet to take the pole. He also blew a tire in the final laps of last week's race, but you should never underestimate a driver whose bad day still ends with a top-ten finish. Although sitting second in the points, Team GMAC is going after an unprecedented third NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title.

Sprague, the defending series champion, will again have a teammate for this weekend's race as rookie Ricky Hendrick returns with the #17 GMAC Chevrolet Silverado. Other noteworthy items heading into Saturday's event at New Hampshire:

Sprague has now posted 12 top ten finishes. Looking for the pole, he has three wins under his belt, and is focused on regaining the points lead, just 82 points shy of Greg Biffle.

Loudon is Jack's kind of track. 1.058 miles of superspeedway. Sprague twice has started on the front row and three times among the top three qualifiers. He claimed the pole in 1997 and finished second both that year and the previous one.

The 35-year old Michigan native is the only driver to log four top-10 finishes. He is looking for his first win at New Hampshire International Speedway.

The last race Sprague and Hendrick raced as teammates was Pikes Peak in May of this year. Both finishing in the top ten. Sprague in forth, Hendrick in sixth.

As mentioned, Hendrick Motorsports rookie Ricky Hendrick will make his NCTS return in the New England 200. Hendrick, 20, is slated to run 15 Busch Grand National events and a handful of truck races this season with GMAC as his primary sponsor. He posted his first top-5 finish in BGN competition, bringing the #24 GMAC Chevrolet home fifth in April's BellSouth Mobility 320 at Nashville Speedway USA.

SPRAGUE'S THOUGHTS HEADING INTO SATURDAY'S RACE IN LOUDON:

"It's hard to sit in second place. The season ain't over and we still got a lot for 'em. Team GMAC has is as committed as ever to winning the championship and a few more races in between."

Sprague added, "It was a bum deal blowing a tire in the last laps last week. I knew something was wrong, bad wrong. There was no time to fix it. That's racing. Some weeks you are lucky and some you aren't. We've always been determined, but this setback only adds fuel to the fire. This'll be great having Ricky (Hendrick) back as a running mate this weekend. He raced in Pikes Peak and really held his own. I know the kid's got talent and I think we were all impressed with his driving. (Crew chief) Dennis (Connor) is going to set Ricky's truck up, just like the last race. Team GMAC is ready to race...hard."

{TB}} New Hampshire International Speedway (1.058 miles)

Year    Event                     Start Finish  Laps        Money Won       Status
1999    Pennzoil Tripleheader       7   8       202/202     $9,245          Running
1998    Pennzoil Tripleheader       2   1       200/200      8,475          Running
1997    Pennzoil Tripleheader       1   2       200/200     31,475          Running
1996    Pennzoil Tripleheader       3   2       206/206     34,925          Running

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Greg Biffle , Ricky Hendrick , Jack Sprague
Teams Hendrick Motorsports