BUSCH: Charlotte: Jack Sprague race report

Sprague, NetZero Chevy survive Charlotte NBS wreckfest. CHARLOTTE, NC (May 25, 2002) - After a day of dodging wrecks, Jack Sprague's luck finally ran out in the closing stages of the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's...

Sprague, NetZero Chevy survive Charlotte NBS wreckfest.

CHARLOTTE, NC (May 25, 2002) - After a day of dodging wrecks, Jack Sprague's luck finally ran out in the closing stages of the CarQuest Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"I'm not going to make excuses because those last few laps were a big mistake on my part," said Sprague, who still managed a 10th-place finish despite crashing in the final laps of the event. "Dennis (crew chief Dennis Connor) and I went back and forth on whether we should pit during that last caution when the leaders came in. After we decided to pit for two tires, I went out on the track and started up the track in the blind spot and hit my own teammate, Ricky Hendrick. It wasn't my spotter's fault because we all know they can't see us on that part of the backstretch. I can't believe it. We had a better than a 10th-place car."

Sprague's NetZero Chevy started the event from the sixth position and stayed with the lead pack in the early going despite a tight handling condition. A round of pit stops on Lap 42 allowed Sprague's Hendrick Motorsports team to make adjustments that paid off as Sprague began picking off positions. Sprague then averted disaster narrowly missing a pair of wrecks but later suffered damage to the right front of his car when he swerved to miss the spinning car of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

"I don't even know who I got into out there, but the car definitely had aero problems for a while there," said Sprague. "My spotter was looking through the binoculars to check for damage and we even pulled up next to Scott Riggs and had him check our car for damage. I'm just glad there wasn't anything rubbing and we were able to go on. Later on, the guys worked on the fender and the car was really good and fast. "

Sprague managed to climb back into the Top-10 after the final cycle of green-flag pit stops and was challenging for a Top-5 finish when the last caution flag of the day flew just seven laps from the checkered flag. That's when he headed for pit road and the ill-fated collision with Hendrick. With his NetZero Chevy showing heavy right-front damage, Sprague willed the crippled racer around the track bouncing off the wall on the final lap en route to the 10th-place effort.

"We stayed clear of a lot of trouble during the whole race then I ended up making my own mess at the end," said a dejected Sprague afterward.

The determined effort allowed Sprague to close the gap in 2002 NBS championship chase. Sprague is now has 1837 points, just 21markers behind series point leader Jason Keller.

Next up for Sprague and the NetZero Chevy will be the MBNA Platinum 200 NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover Downs International Speedway. The event will take the green flag Saturday, June 1 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 14th of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season will be telecast live on FX. MRN Radio will also broadcast the race live worldwide on more than 400 stations including the American Armed Forces Network.

ABOUT NETZERO:

NetZero is a United Online company. United Online is a leading Internet service provider that commenced operations in September 2001 as the result of its acquisition of NetZero and Juno Online Services -- two of the most recognized Internet access brands in the United States and Canada. Through its subsidiaries, United Online offers both free and value-priced Internet access services in more than 5,000 cities. The company is headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., with offices in New York City and Hyderabad, India. United Online's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol "UNTD." For more information about NetZero and United Online, visit www.unitedonline.net.

-hm-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jason Keller , Ricky Hendrick , Jack Sprague , Scott Riggs