Mooresville, NC 0x2022 June 7, 2004 With a record three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships to his credit Jack Sprague knows the key to winning races and championships is team work. Now behind the wheel of the ...
Mooresville, NC 0x2022 June 7, 2004 With a record three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships to his credit Jack Sprague knows the key to winning races and championships is team work. Now behind the wheel of the #16 Chevy Trucks Silverado fielded by back-to-back NCTS champions, IWX Racing, the foundation is firmly in place for Sprague and company to win races and continue their climb in the point standings.
His top-ten finish at Dover put Sprague eighth in the chase for the season championship. With six of the 25 races on the 2004 NCTS schedule in the record books, a mere 164 points separate the driver sitting tenth in the standings with current points leader, Chevrolet Silverado driver Dennis Setzer.
"This team is really coming together quickly," said Sprague. "If you look around in the garage area of any top series, new team/driver combinations sometimes stumble and struggle. We got a win in just our fourth race together. That gives everyone on the team confidence that we are moving in the right direction as a team.
"We were going to be ok at Daytona but the accident put us out of contention there. At Atlanta, we really struggled so we went to work testing and got a handle on the problems for tracks of that size. We were great at both Martinsville and Mansfield. The Chevy Trucks Silverado was a rocket at Charlotte but we cut a tire early and then lost a cylinder. Those are things that happen in racing. We were ok at Dover, probably a top-five truck, because we were fighting a tight condition but the same yellow flag situation that caught a lot of teams caught us. We still scored a top-ten so we didn't get hurt in the points."
Now Sprague and the Chevy Trucks Silverado team head to Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly 400K.
"Texas has always been a good track for me," Sprague continued. "But equally important is the previous success the team has had with other drivers on the way to their championships. We all seem to have a solid understanding of what it takes to run well there. You can never be over confident when you go to a track where you have previously been successful, but you sure can be comfortable knowing the odds are in your favor to have a good race weekend."
"It is too early to be points racing," concluded Sprague. "But at the same time, you do have to be aware of where you are in the standings and keep working on the consistency it takes to move up the standings and stay in the hunt for the title.
"As the season continues, the technological support we are receiving from GM Racing and Chevrolet will continue to pay dividends for all four of the teams involved in the Silverado program. Having the ability to share information with Setzer, (David) Starr, (Matt) Crafton and their crew chiefs has been a huge benefit to Dave (Fuge, #16 team manager), Chris (Showalter, #16 crew chief) and myself. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see these four teams in a battle for the top spots in the standings."
Practice and qualifying for the O'Reilly 400K will take place on Thursday, June 10th. The race will start at 8:00 pm CST (9:00 pm EST) on Friday, June 11th. The race will be carried live on SPEED.