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FORT WORTH, Tex. " The perils of Jack Sprague at Texas Motor Speedway again proved that few point leads are safe in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sprague, who exited via accident on the 120th lap and finished 28th in Friday's Pronto Auto...

FORT WORTH, Tex. " The perils of Jack Sprague at Texas Motor Speedway again proved that few point leads are safe in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sprague, who exited via accident on the 120th lap and finished 28th in Friday's Pronto Auto Parts 400, gave up a 92-point advantage and left the season's 11th race 14 down to Greg Biffle. Mike Wallace, who lost his point lead to Sprague after he finished 33rd at Pikes Peak International Raceway, is among those resuscitated by the two-time series champion's misfortune. Wallace entered the race fourth 121 points back. After finishing second to Biffle, Wallace is third and facing a deficit of just 39. In fact, the top four - Biffle, Sprague, Wallace and Andy Houston - are covered by a 47-point blanket as the season hits its mid-point next weekend at Kentucky Speedway. "It's an unfortunate situation for Jack but this really puts us back in the points race," said Daytona 250 winner Wallace, who has finished one-two in the season's two fastest races. "I am very happy with what happened tonight. I think our performance was extremely good. Biffle was just that much better." ¯ Three drivers - Biffle, Sprague and Wallace - have swapped the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point lead three times in the past four races. ¯ Sprague's luck hasn't been all bad in Texas - he has two top-six finishes - but he's also finished 31st and 28th. In 1997, engine failure ended Sprague's record finishing streak at 52. On Friday, an accident snapped another record, the nine consecutive top-fives Sprague established on June 3 at Evergreen Speedway. In October 1999, Sprague came to Texas Motor Speedway leading NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points. An 11th-place run handed the advantage to Biffle. History repeated itself this time around. "We just go on to Kentucky and get it back," said Sprague. ¯ Biffle now has won $157,460 at Texas Motor Speedway, tops among all series competitors. In 2000, he's led the most laps (467 of 2,024) of any driver on tour and twice as many miles (578.4 to 287.776) as his closest competitor Sprague. Biffle has led five of the last six races and eight of 11 overall. ¯ Winning crew chief Randy Goss now owns 16 victories to match Richard Childress Racing's Rich Burgess for No. 2 on the all-time win list. ¯ Randy Tolsma has fashioned back-to-back top-five finishes for just the second time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. He followed his Oct. 12, 1997 victory at Mesa Marin Raceway with a fifth-place finish at California Speedway. Friday's third-place run backed up the previous week's second at Evergreen Speedway. "These guys certainly are capable of winning and some day we are going to get that break," said Tolsma whose crew had to rebuild his Dodge's nose after contact with Andy Houston's spinning truck in Thursday night's final practice. ¯ Bryan Reffner celebrated his 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start by logging his first top- five finish since Aug. 8, 1998. Reffner's third-place run at Flemington (N.J.) Speedway remains his best effort. He's now one of 17 drivers to have won $800,000 or more on tour. "The Menard team just gets better and better," said Reffner who led three times and moved to 10th in NCTS point standings. "John Menard was here tonight and he keeps the guys supported on the pit stops and that's just a great feeling. We'll get our first win sooner or later for him." With Sprague's DNF, Reffner holds the series' longest top-10 finishing string of eight races. ¯ The final lap's best battle was for ninth-place as B.A. Wilson, Scott Riggs and David Starr thundered three-wide off Turn 4. Wilson took the decision, by a bumper, followed by Riggs and Starr. Wilson, a native of nearby Bonham who made his mark in NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars near Richmond, Va., annexed his first top-10 on tour. Riggs gave Impact Motorsports three consecutive top- 10s for the initial time in 2000 and Starr matched his career-best run recorded last month in Memphis. ¯ Carl Long's 17th-place finish was the best by a driver in Team 23's Red Line Synthetic Oil Chevrolet regularly wheeled by Phil Bonifield. ¯ Lance Norick, relieved by Hermie Sadler, and Joe Ruttman are the only drivers to have finished all five series events held at Texas Motor Speedway. Friday's race featured the track's most lead changes (15 vs. 14 last October), fewest lead lap finishers (six vs. nine in 1998) and second fewest caution laps (35 vs. 26 last October). There now have been five consecutive different winners at Texas Motor Speedway. Ford collected its third victory but first since 1998. ¯ Wallace's Ultra Motorsports-prepared Ford will carry a special logo on its hood this week at Kentucky Speedway commemorating the 125th NCTS appearance of sponsor ASE. ASE holds the record for the longest primary sponsorship on the tour.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr , Greg Biffle , Mike Wallace , Andy Houston , Jack Sprague , Lance Norick , Scott Riggs , Joe Ruttman , Hermie Sadler , Bryan Reffner , Randy Tolsma , Phil Bonifield , Carl Long