SPRAGUE'S RUN OF BAD LUCK CONTINUES AT TALLADEGA "Rare Engine Failure Spoils Strong Truck" TALLADEGA, ALABAMA (October 10, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the Con-way Freight Toyota team were sidelined early in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck ...
SPRAGUE'S RUN OF BAD LUCK CONTINUES AT TALLADEGA
"Rare Engine Failure Spoils Strong Truck"
TALLADEGA, ALABAMA (October 10, 2006) - Jack Sprague and the Con-way Freight Toyota team were sidelined early in the inaugural NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Talladega Superspeedway when their motor expired, relegating the No. 60 team to a 33rd-place finish. Sprague's finish dropped him 11th in points.
"Our Con-way Freight Toyota had been awesome since we got on the track at Talladega," Sprague said. "We just can't seem to get any luck going our way.
"Everybody did a great job on the truck. The guys did a great job in the pits. We were going to have a great day, and we just broke."
During two practices at the 2.66-mile Alabama track, Sprague had one of the quickest trucks on the race track and was strong in the draft. With a qualifying run that put Sprague seventh on the grid, the Wyler Racing team was confident that a solid run was on the horizon in the John Deere 250.
Sprague started seventh in the 94-lap event and within one lap, the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota had drafted up into the third-place position. By lap six, Sprague was in second-place and his truck was working well in the draft with fellow Toyota teammate Johnny Benson. The two Toyotas led the field until Lap 22 when the caution flag waved at Lap 22.
"We have an awesome truck," Sprague told his crew under the caution.
Sprague brought his truck to the attention of his crew under the yellow for fuel and four tires. A quick pit stop put Sprague back on track in second-place behind his drafting partner Benson.
With a good drafting partner and a strong truck, Sprague was anxious to get back to racing under the green flag. Sprague continued in the runner-up position behind Benson until problems struck on Lap 38.
Sprague's No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota suddenly slowed on the track, and he reported that his motor had blown up as he attempted to make his way to pit road. Sprague brought the truck to his team's attention, where they determined that a broken valve spring was the culprit of Sprague's problems.
"We can't catch a break," Sprague said.
As the race continued on the track, Sprague's Wyler Racing crew was not ready to give up and end their day early. The team went to work and put a new valve spring and rocker arm in the truck. With the changes made, the crew sent Sprague back on track at lap 58.
After pitting for fuel only, Sprague made an attempt to get back on track -- but the changes did not cure the motor problems. Sprague drove his truck back to the garage and retired for the day. Sprague and the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota finished in 33rd-place.
The finish dropped Sprague to 11th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings -- 533 points behind leader Todd Bodine and just 31 points outside of the top 10.
"I think we had the truck to beat here today," a disappointed Sprague said after the race. "If we could just get some luck going our way, there's no telling what this Wyler Racing team could accomplish. I loved racing at Talladega today, and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year. But right now, our focus is getting the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota back into the top 10 before the season ends."
After one week off, Sprague and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to action in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. ET
-credit: wyler racing