Sprague Takes ...
Sprague Takes #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado From 23rd to 4th in O'Reilly'S 400K at Texas Motor Speedway
Ft. Worth, TX -- June 12, 2004 -- Jack Sprague and the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado team battled from their 23rd position to finish fourth in Friday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly's 400K at Texas Motor Speedway. Sprague now sits sixth in the series' point standings, just 182 points out of first place.
"I am so proud of Dave (Fuge, team manager), Chris (Showalter, crew chief) and all the Chevy Trucks Silverado guys," said Sprague. "By the end of the race, we were fast. The truck was perfect, we just didn't have the track position we needed to get closer to the front but this is a great run for us because we have struggled on the bigger tracks this year so we this is definitely a step in the right direction with our Chevy Trucks team."
By lap five of the 167-lap race, Sprague had already moved into the 16th position but was still experiencing a tight condition the team had been fighting since unloading for practice on Thursday. When the caution flew on the 20th lap for an accident involving Team Silverado driver David Starr and Travis Kvapil, the #16 over-the-wall crew flew in to action making several changes to improve the truck's handling.
The drastic changes substantially improved the truck and Sprague continued his march to the front of the 36-truck field. On lap 40, the #16 lit up the scoreboard in fourth position.
During the next caution on lap 74, Sprague came down pit road with the leaders and the crew made several more substantial changes to continue improving the Chevy Trucks Silverado's performance. A miscue during the pitstop sent Sprague back into action in seventh spot. By lap 120, Sprague was back in fourth chasing Musgrave, Setzer and Reutimann.
When Sprague came down pit road on lap 133 under green flag conditions for his final stop of the night, the crew made a few more minor adjustments to give Sprague the truck he needed to make a final charge in the remaining 44 laps of the race. Again, the stop was not up to the customary speed level of the #16 pit crew. After the cycle of green flag stops, Sprague was back in fourth position but separated from the leaders by several seconds.
With 17 laps to go, Sprague came on the radio telling the crew the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado was perfect. The crew reported back to him he was the fastest truck on the track. Unfortunately without another caution flag to bunch up the field, Sprague tried valiantly to run down Reutimann but fell just short as the checkered flag flew.
" The guys on this Chevy Truck Silverado team worked hard all weekend," said Chevy Trucks Silverado Team Manager Dave Fuge. "We were off a little bit and haven't really put a good race together for a little while. They worked real hard all day; we came from the back and came right up through the field. They made all the right adjustments and I think we had a truck capable of racing for the win if we had been able to get up there. The pitstop didn't quite turn out as good as we wanted and we basically just ran out of time. But I am happy with our finish."
"We have been pretty much junk since we unloaded here," continued Sprague. "We were a little better after happy hour but not much. Dave and Chris made a bunch of changes this morning before the race, most of which I didn't agree with but they were right and I was wrong. They did all the right things."
"We started out tight," Sprague concluded. "The IWX Racing guys kept making adjustments and making adjustments until they got it right. We had a couple of stops that hurt us a little on track position but man, the Chevy Trucks Silverado was a rocket ship by the last 50 laps of the race. This was a good race for us, it helped us in the points so we just keep on going from here."
Sprague's Chevrolet Silverado team mate Dennis Setzer won the race in the #46 Morgan Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado. Ted Musgrave, David Reutimann and Chad Chaffin completed the top-five.
The next event on the NCTS schedule is the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park, Memphis, TN. The 150-mile, 200-lap race is slated to begin at 3:00 PM EST with live coverage on SPEED Channel.
For more information on Jack Sprague and the IWX Racing team, log on to www.jacksprague.com.