BUSCH: Rockingham II: Jack Sprague preview

Sprague, NetZero Chevy looking for a solid showing at "The Rock" ROCKINGHAM, NC (October 26, 2002) - Jack Sprague high has expectations as he heads back to North Carolina Motor Speedway for Saturday's Sam's Club 200 NASCAR Busch Series race. ...

Sprague, NetZero Chevy looking for a solid showing at "The Rock"

ROCKINGHAM, NC (October 26, 2002) - Jack Sprague high has expectations as he heads back to North Carolina Motor Speedway for Saturday's Sam's Club 200 NASCAR Busch Series race.  Sprague, who is currently fifth in the series point standings, has always had a soft spot for tracks that are challenging like the 1.017-mile Rockingham oval.  Sprague and the track better known as "The Rock" have had a bitter-sweet relationship over the years. The driver of the No. 24 NetZero Chevy has qualified well, but never had good luck when it came to finishing and would like his final Rockingham NBS showing to be an improvement on those past performances.   "I love racing at tracks like Rockingham," said Sprague who finished sixth in the first Rockingham event earlier this year.  "If only we could race tracks like that every week I just might be in a better position right now in the points. I don't know what it is, but the slippery racetracks and me get along good. I feel right at home racing on them.  This weekend's race should be a good one for us.  It's hard to pass at Rockingham.  That means you need to have a good qualifying run."    Sprague heads to "The Rock" coming off a disappointing 42nd-place finish in last weekend's event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The effort, which was a result of engine failure, has the Spring Lake, MI driver even more determined to back up his previous Rockingham finish.    "I was really happy with our performance at Rockingham in February," Sprague said.  "It was our second race of the season and we were nervous because we had to qualify on time in order to make the show.  We did that with no problem, then went on to a great finish. Looking back, we really had a good first half this season and Rockingham was a big part of that. I wish things could get back on track for us these last few races."   Sprague has competed in six Busch Series events at "The Rock". In those six races, he has managed to qualify in the Top-10 four times. Those great efforts, on many occasions lead to strong runs, but those runs went south due to mechanical problems.  Sprague's best efforts at Rockingham came in this year's 1-866RBCTERM.com 200.  In only his second NBS race of the season, Sprague qualified seventh and then brought his NetZero Chevy home sixth. This time, Sprague and his NetZero team head to "The Rock" with 'Chassis 220', the same car he raced in February.    "I have a good feeling about the Rockingham race - both races actually," said Sprague who will also attempt to qualify for the Winston Cup event.   "This race was good for us early in the season because we left here in February with a good finish and great moral.  Now we're headed back with three races left on the schedule.  Who knows, maybe it will be a race we can gain some points and help finish off our season on a good note.  I think we have the potential to having a great race in the Busch car and also a legitimate shot at making the Cup race.  We tested the No. 60 Haas car a few weeks ago and it went well for us.  It's a brand new car, so we'll just have to wait and see how it all works out.  It will be a busy weekend for us."          Sprague is right about having a busy weekend ahead of him.  Once again, Sprague will be pulling double duty at Rockingham as he makes his second attempt to qualify for Sunday's Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 Winston Cup race. It will mark race number two for Sprague and the N0. 60 Haas CNC Racing team in their preparation for 2003.        The Sam's Club 200 will take the green flag Saturday, November 2, 2002 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  The event will be the 32nd of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season and will be telecast live on TNT.  MRN Radio will also broadcast the race live on more than 300 affiliated stations worldwide.

Originally launched in 1998, NetZero is a United Online company. United Online is a leading value-priced Internet service provider that offers both free and value-priced Internet access services through its subsidiaries NetZero and Juno in more than 5,000 cities in the United States and Canada. 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."


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Drivers Jack Sprague