Sprague, NetZero Chevy show their strength at Daytona Busch Series test DAYTONA BEACH, FL (January 22, 2002) - Jack Sprague's jump from a NASCAR Craftsman Truck to his No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Busch Series car proved to be a...
Sprague, NetZero Chevy show their strength at Daytona Busch Series test
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (January 22, 2002) - Jack Sprague's jump from a NASCAR Craftsman Truck to his No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Busch Series car proved to be a short hop after the veteran driver posted some of the best speeds in the first round of NBS pre-season testing at Daytona International Speedway.
"Jumping into the Busch car wasn't an issue I was concerned about," said Sprague, whose best clean lap time in the Daytona test was a 49.403-second effort (182.175 miles per hour). "I was more focused on how our cars were going to handle or if we've done our best transitioning over to the Busch program. We have a few things to work on at the shop, but so far, everything seems to be moving along."
Sprague and veteran crew chief Dennis Connor covered their bases by bringing both a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and a Pontiac Grand Prix to the two-day test. In the past, the Grand Prix has been the dominant car on the big tracks like Daytona and Talladega (AL) Superspeedway.
"We're a new team with no provisional starting spots available, so taking chances isn't something we're going to do," Sprague stated. "Bringing a Pontiac down here didn't seem like an option, but a must in order to make sure we cover all possibilities to make the race."
Sprague was right. The two-day test proved to be a good platform for he and his team to build on. The No. 24 NetZero Monte Carlo posted the third quickest time (49.530 seconds, 181.708 mph) during Monday's morning session followed by the 49.403 effort in the afternoon practice.
Sprague spent most of time behind the wheel of the Pontiac Tuesday swapping it with the Monte Carlo throughout the day. Showing no real difference in performance, Sprague's Pontiac was fourth quickest (49.418 seconds, 182.120 mph) while the Chevy was fifth overall (49.430 seconds, 182.076 mph) in the same session.
"The Pontiac is definitely more comfortable to drive, but we still have some work to do," Sprague stated. "I know both cars ran pretty equal and around the Top-5 all day, but I'm still not happy with either one. I think we still have some more we can get out of both of them, but then again, I'm always looking to be better. Ricky (Hendrick) likes the Chevy and ran that most of the day, but Dennis and I still aren't sure what we'll bring back for the race."
"We made the decision to run a full Busch program this year and I intend to do everything I can to win Daytona and every race after," Sprague continued. "Daytona is tough enough as it is and you need to have a car that is good by itself, as well as in the draft. I'm looking forward to this race and if that means I'll be in a Pontiac, that's fine with me. We need to do what we have to and these last two days of testing have been a good indication of how things may end up."
The EAS/GNC Live Well 300 will take the green flag Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway will be the first of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season and will be telecast live on TNT and broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.