Sprague, NetZero Chevy retain NBS points lead despite Talladega carnage. TALLADEGA, AL (April 20, 2002) - It's pretty safe to say Jack Sprague has never been in a race like the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday. "There isn't a ...
Sprague, NetZero Chevy retain NBS points lead despite Talladega carnage.
TALLADEGA, AL (April 20, 2002) - It's pretty safe to say Jack Sprague has never been in a race like the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday.
"There isn't a whole lot to say about today's race," said Sprague after his No. 24 NetZero Chevy survived a 28-car melee early in the event eventually soldiering on to a 13th-place finish. "We were only a few laps into the race and all hell broke loose. I got caught up in it. I'm glad no one was hurt, but then again I'm upset that it even happened at all. I don't know how we ended up 13th. I can't imagine it was much fun for the fans."
Sprague's red, black and silver NetZero Monte Carlo started the event from the seventh position after posting a speed of 186.380 miles per hour on the 2.66-mile super Talladega tri-oval in qualifying.
"I knew after practice that we'd qualify decent and seventh surely wasn't too bad for our first time at Talladega in a NASCAR Busch Series car," Sprague said. "We hadn't done any drafting until happy hour and about four laps into it we knew were ready to race. The car was so impressive and unbelievable in the draft that we weren't going to chance anything before the race. There wasn't any point in it."
Any shot Sprague had of winning ended on Lap 17 when a tangle at the front of the field collected all but a handful of the 43-car field. Included in the carnage was Sprague's NetZero Chevy. Showing significant rear damage, Sprague limped the car to the garage area where it took his Hendrick Motorsports team 37 laps to repair the car. Despite the deficit, Sprague was able to steer home 13th and retain the NASCAR Busch Series points lead by a 22-point margin over race winner Jason Keller.
"It was hot out there today and we're all wore out from beating and banging the car back together," said and exhausted Sprague. "We sure didn't have a shot at winning the race, but we definitely won today in other ways and that's keeping the points lead. Today, teamwork showed how this team has and will continue to win championships."
Next up for Sprague and the NetZero Chevy will be the Auto Club 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway. The event will take the green flag Saturday, April 27 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The ninth of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season will be telecast live on FOX. MRN Radio will also broadcast the race live.