BUSCH: Sparta: Jack Sprague race report

Sprague, NetZero Chevy avoid disaster at Kentucky. SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2002) - Jack Sprague wasn't able to bring his No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo home in perfect condition in this weekend's Kroger 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at...

Sprague, NetZero Chevy avoid disaster at Kentucky.

SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2002) - Jack Sprague wasn't able to bring his No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo home in perfect condition in this weekend's Kroger 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Kentucky Speedway, but considering the circumstances, it could have looked a lot worse.

"I owe everything to this NetZero team," said Sprague, who crashed early in the event and, with the determined effort of his team, still managed a 16th-place finish. "They did a hell of a job assessing what needed to be done to fix the car. They never fail at anything and always, always kick butt. I was the one that made the mistakes this weekend - no one else is to blame. I'm just happy we were able to salvage a solid finish and maintain the point lead. It's not the best, but not as bad as what it could have been."

Sprague, one of 12 drivers to break the old track record in qualifying, started the event from the third position. The Spring Lake, MI driver wasn't happy with the way his car handled early in the race but still managed to keep contact with the leaders. Unfortunately, contact of another kind with the car of Bobby Hamilton, Jr. on Lap 82 changed Sprague's day considerably.

"I didn't intentionally wreck Bobby - he just happened to get caught in my mess," said Sprague. "I lost it on my own. I tried to keep the car from spinning into anyone else, but I wound up getting into Bobby. I know he's mad at me and thinks I raced him too hard, but that's not the case. I think I was running him pretty clean. Obviously we have a plan this year and taking ourselves out isn't part of that plan."

Shortly after Sprague's accident, torrential rains hit the raceway forcing the postponement of the rest of the race until Sunday. That allowed Sprague's NetZero crew time to plan the needed repairs to the battered racecar and kept the hope of a respectable finish alive.

When the race resumed Sunday, Sprague soldiered his battered car around the Kentucky oval, surviving a second spin on Lap 117. Determined to score a good finish, Sprague steadily picked off spots throughout the race eventually settling for 16th and retaining the division point lead.

Sprague earned $19,115 for the performance and his 2292 points are 68 markers ahead of runner-up Scott Riggs in the 2002 NBS point standings.

Next up for Sprague and the NetZero Chevy will be the GNC Live Well 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. The event will take the green flag Sunday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 17th 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.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jack Sprague , Scott Riggs