HOMESTEAD, Fla. - ...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - #24 Team GMAC driver Jack Sprague would like to forget his first race experience in a truck at Daytona International Speedway. What the two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion needs to remember, however, is that a tough start to the season does not preclude him from winning a title. Sprague proved that last year.
Items of note leading up to the Feb. 26 running of the Florida Dodge Dealers 400K at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
* Sprague's #24 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet Silverado was collected in an accident not of his own doing on lap 14 of the Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway last Friday. The defending NCTS champion saw his day abruptly end with a 33rd place finish.
* The good news is Sprague endured a similar fate in last year's opening race at Homestead (22nd place finish), the site of this Saturday's event, and still went on to win the 1999 NCTS Championship.
* Homestead, a 1.5-mile oval, is one of Sprague's favorite tracks on the circuit. If a flat track is what you prefer, Homestead represents a driver's dream with only six degrees of banking in the corners and three on the straights.
* Sprague has been referred to as "Mile Track Jack" in the past. And for good reason. The driver of the #24 Team GMAC Chevrolet has notched 75% (12-of-16) of his career victories on tracks spanning one mile or longer.
* Sprague's start in last weekend's Daytona 250 made him the only competitor in the history of the truck series to compete in all 123 series events.
Sprague's thoughts heading into Saturday's event at Homestead:
"It's just a fantastic race track to compete on," Sprague said of Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It's got these long sweeping corners; you need a soft setup in front and a fairly medium setup in the back because it's just so smooth. You end up turning a lot on this track, so it's important to have the truck 'stick' well. We've done a good job with setup here in the past and that gives us some extra confidence this time around."
Added Sprague, "That was a tough deal at Daytona for sure, but there's nothing I can do to change that now. Last year we had a similar start to the season at Homestead and lived to tell about it. It's way too early to be overly concerned about the point standings. A victory at Homestead is Team GMAC's only focus right now."