JACK SPRAGUE WINS CHEX 400K AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY THREE-TIME NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES CHAMP GETS 25TH CAREER VICTORY FT WORTH, TX -- Shortly after Jack Sprague pulled the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado into Victory Lane at Texas Motor ...
JACK SPRAGUE WINS CHEX 400K AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
THREE-TIME NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES CHAMP GETS 25TH CAREER VICTORY
FT WORTH, TX -- Shortly after Jack Sprague pulled the No. 16 Chevy Trucks Silverado into Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway, the sky opened up and rain began pouting down prompting Xpress Motorsports crew member Randy Dean to exclaim, "Hey buddy, the drought is over!"
It has been almost 13 months and 29 races since the only three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion visited victory lane, the longest span of his NCTS career. On his way to ending the streak, he led twice during the 167-lap Chex 400K for just 12 laps. With great pit strategy and a strong Silverado, Sprague had the Right Truck when he needed it to pass Mike Skinner and David Reutimann to take the lead and his 25th NCTS career win.
"It feels great to win again and not have any drama like we've been having," said Sprague, the first to win a truck race in eight seasons. "We've been struggling, been getting run over. Maybe this is the turnaround. "We didn't have any misfortune all night. We didn't have a scratch on the truck."
Long-time NCTS fans got a flashback to the early years of the series as the 167-lap race unwound with Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday and Sprague taking their respective turns at the point. Sprague passed Skinner for second with just 10 laps remaining, grabbed the lead one lap later, and then pulled away for the victory. Sprague beat Johnny Benson by 1.286 seconds and defending race champion Dennis Setzer was third. Skinner, the first Truck Series champ, was fourth, Matt Crafton came to the line fifth and Hornaday, the second points winner in 1996, was sixth. Reutimann faded to 10th in the finishing order.
"It's a lot of fun racing with those guys that we started this series with 10 years ago. But it's still the same guys with a lot of talent, and it's a lot of fun," said Sprague. "I knew the truck was awesome [Thursday], and everything just went right.
"Skinner raced me really clean tonight, probably as clean as he has ever raced me before. I want to say hats off to him, he had a good truck and gave me plenty of room there at the end for the lead."
Sprague inched closer to Hornaday in overall wins. Hornaday has 27 career victories, just two more than Sprague.
"Its great, but records are what you look at when you're eighty years old," Sprague said. "In Ron's defense he left the series a couple of years before me and I was able to close in. But he's also a lot older than me so I'm going to be racing after he is gone and I'll catch him, but right now I just want to win races not for records but for the team. It just feels good to get this win and be in victory lane again and not have any drama out there on the track. We earned this win tonight and its something that we can really build on."
The win pulled Sprague to 10th in the series championship points chase, just 200 points out of the lead with 16 races remaining in the 2005 season.
The next event for the NCTS is June 18, 2005 Paramount Health Insurance 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Practice at Michigan will begin at noon on Friday, June 17, 2005 with the first one-hour practice session. The NCTS final practice will be from 2:50 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Qualifying for the 36-truck starting field will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2005. The 100-lap, 200-mile race will take the green flag at 3:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage starting at 3:00 p.m. with radio coverage on MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio.