Sprague Tries to Break String of Seconds at Topeka

Sprague sick of seconds at Topeka TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 21, 1998) After two near misses at Heartland Park Topeka, Jack Sprague has a "thirst for the first" entering Sunday's running of the Lund Look 275K. The driver of the No. 24...

Sprague sick of seconds at Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 21, 1998) After two near misses at Heartland Park Topeka, Jack Sprague has a "thirst for the first" entering Sunday's running of the Lund Look 275K.

The driver of the No. 24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet, who finished second at Topeka in 1996 and 1997, has three victories this season and is intent on adding a first career road course win to his racing resume.

"We've run real well at Topeka and done just about everything except win," said Sprague, currently the circuit's leader in miles led with 639.710 (out of a possible 2882.648 miles). "Last year I slipped out of the groove in turn six just before the finish and that cost us. In the past, this No. 24 Team GMAC outfit has won on superspeedways and short tracks - and come Sunday I'd like to add 'road course' to that list."

Sprague, currently second in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings, trails leader Ron Hornaday by a mere 70 points (2,617-2,547) entering the Lund Look 275. The talented 34-year-old product of Spring Lake, Mich. finds himself well within reach of winning five races en route to becoming the first repeat champion in truck series history, a two-fold goal the defending titlist established back in January.

Racing luck had been Sprague's faithful companion for most of the 1998 campaign, but it abandoned the driver Saturday at Nashville Speedway USA. Sprague found himself in customary position -- among the top five competitors -- with 10 laps remaining in the Federated Auto Parts 250. And then a holed radiator suddenly dropped him to 11th-place in the final order of finish. Remarkably, it was the first time in the four-year, 87-race history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series that Sprague failed to finish in the top 10 of consecutive events.

A model of consistency over the past four years, Sprague also made history with new sponsor GMAC by giving the Detroit-based company an immediate return on its sponsorship dollar. After GMAC signed on as primary sponsor back on July 15, Sprague proceeded to win two of three races in a span of 12 days, taking the checkered flag in his GMAC debut at California (July 18) and then at Indianapolis (July 30). It marked the quickest pair of wins ever recorded for a new sponsor in series history, according to the circuit's media coordinator, Owen Kearns.

"That's nice to know and it means a lot for us to do that for GMAC," Sprague said. "We're very fortunate to have them on our side because they are a first class company and sponsor. It's my job to make sure that the No. 24 GMAC Financial Services/GM Protection Plan Chevrolet truck is at the front of the pack. And we'll try to start Sunday in Topeka by putting the No. 24 Team GMAC road-course Chevrolet in Victory Lane for the first time ever."

Source: NASCAR Online

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