DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 11, 2008) -- Jack Sprague will never forget his first win at Daytona International Speedway.
On the first day of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing in preparation for the season-opening ninth annual Chevy Silverado 250 on Friday night, Feb. 15, Jack Sprague recalled last year’s wild three-wide checkered flag winning finish that delivered him his first victory at “The World Center of Racing.”
“Last year was phenomenal. To win at Daytona is something that very few people get to do, that I really never thought I would do,” Sprague said during Friday’s lunch break.
In a three-wide finish reminiscent of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Jack Sprague’s No. 60 Toyota got a push from Johnny Benson’s No. 23 Toyota to nip Travis Kvapil at the start/finish line on the final lap to capture the Chevy Silverado 250. The margin of victory for Sprague was .031 seconds.
“I was in the right place at the right time at the end,” Sprague said. “We had a fast truck. “We sat on the pole. It wasn’t like it was dumb luck. It was a good truck. Everything went right for us. It was certainly a victory that I never thought I would never achieve because it is so difficult to win here. You need a lot of help from a lot of people to do it and we had that. It would be great to win here again but it is the hardest race to win I think in anybody’s career.”
The 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season will see Sprague return to Chevrolet. He’ll drive for Kevin Harvick Inc. in the No. 2 Chevrolet and serve as a teammate to his friend and rival Ron Hornaday Jr., the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion.
Hornaday and Sprague have produced many memorable moments in the history of the series with each of them winning three championships.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Sprague said. “We’ve done this for a long time. I think we’ll be able to make each other stronger as far as information and things of that nature.
“A lot of the rivalry, the intense moments, not all of them but most of them, were hype, were media. That works. That sells. That made it interesting. We certainly raced each other extremely hard and still do. But at that point, we were both trying to be Cup drivers in 1995. We were (determined) to do whatever we had to do. It’s not that we don’t drive hard anymore, but we drive each other with a lot more respect. We’re not trying to get anywhere; we’re where we want to be.”
Fastest of the day: Erik Darnell was fastest in Friday’s morning session with a lap of 177.420 mph in the No. 99 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. His teammate Colin Braun was second fastest with a lap of 176.790.
In the afternoon session where teams drafted, Brendan Gaughan was fastest at 184.638.
Heading home: Colin Braun, driver of the No. 6 Conway Trucking Ford F-150, and Joey Clanton, driver of the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150, were involved in a multi-car accident in Friday’s afternoon session that also included Kyle Busch.
As a result, both teams will be packing up their equipment and heading back to North Carolina. Said Braun: “It’s a veteran out there taking advantage of a rookie.” Said Clanton: “Right up until then everything was going great, right to plan. We were working away at the things we wanted to get done and I was getting a lot of experience drafting. It’s unfortunate it had to end short like that.”
Quotable: 2003 Chevy Silverado 250 winner Rick Crawford on what that victory means to him: “What did it mean to me? It means everything to win here at Daytona, the World Center of Racing. It’s what you dream about as a kid. That’s why we’re here. When the green flag drops, you want to win. When the checkered flag falls, you dream about coming back here next year to try to win again. Daytona is everything.”
No rest for the weary: Kyle Busch, fresh from a three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing session in the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, has now hopped behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ballew Motorsports Toyota that he’ll race in the Chevy Silverado 250.
Setzer absent: Dennis Setzer missed the first day of testing due to a family emergency and Stacy Compton tested both the No. 18 Bobby Hamilton Racing VA Dodge and the No. 4 Bobby Hamilton VA Dodge. Bobby Hamilton VA has three Chevy Silverado 250 victories. Setzer expects to be in Daytona for the second day of testing.
Quick hits:Colin Braun in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford was the first to tackle the high banks on Friday morning … In the eight years of the Chevy Silverado 250, the race has had eight different winners … Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope is testing for Xpress Motorsports
NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest On Saturday: Testing in theNASCAR Craftsman Truck Series continues Saturday at “The World Center of Racing” highlighted by the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest. Sprint FANZONE opens at 9 a.m. Tickets to the event are $10.
Tickets: Race tickets for all DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events at Daytona International Speedway are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Friday morning testing speeds from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing in preparation for the ninth annual Chevy Silverado 250:
1. 99A, Erik Darnell, Ford, 50.727 177.420
2. 6A, Colin Braun, Ford, 50.908, 176.790
3. 09A, Joey Clanton, Ford, 50.989, 176.509
4. 7A, Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 50.989, 176.509
5. 18A, Stacy Compton, Dodge, 50.990, 176.505
6. 4A, Stacy Compton, Dodge, 51.076, 176.208
7. 29A, Scott Lynch, Dodge, 51.178, 175.857
8. 33B, Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 51.343, 175.292
9. 13A, Shelby Howard, Chevrolet, 51.353, 175.258
10. 5A, Mike Skinner, Toyota, 51.381, 175.162
11. 88A, Matt Crafton, Chevrolet, 51.427, 175.005
12. 22A, Phillip McGilton, Toyota, 51.440, 174.961
13. 14A, Rick Crawford, Ford, 51.479, 174.829
14. 21A, Jon Wood, Ford, 51.570, 174.520
15. 5B, Mike Skinner, Toyota, 51.589, 174.456
16. 23B, Johnny Benson, Toyota, 51.621, 174.348
17. 08A, Jason White, Dodge, 51.623, 174.341
18. 07A, Shane Sieg, Chevrolet, 51.653, 174.240
19. 46B, Erin Crocker, Chevrolet, 51.682, 174.142
20. 2B, Jack Sprague, Chevrolet, 51.708, 174.054
21. 8A, Chad McCumbee, Chevrolet, 51.809, 173.715
22. 16A, Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 51.884, 173.464
23. 33A, Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 51.943, 173.267
24. 2A, Jack Sprague, Chevrolet, 52.000, 173.077
25. 19A, Derrike Cope, Ford, 52.022, 173.004
26. 14B, Rick Crawford, Ford, 52.097, 172.755
27. 59A, Ted Musgrave, Toyota, 52.109, 172.715
28. 10A, Brendan Gaughan, Ford, 52.129, 172.649
29. 11A, David Starr, Toyota, 52.176, 172.493
30. 20B, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Ford, 52.221, 172.344
31. 51B, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 52.243, 172.272
32. 20A, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Ford, 52.302, 172.078
33. 28A, Wayne Edwards, Chevrolet, 52.328, 171.992
34. 51A, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 54.649, 164.687
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Friday afternoon testing speeds from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing in preparation for the ninth annual Chevy Silverado 250:
1. 10A, Brendan Gaughan, Ford, 48.744, 184.638 mph
2. 7A, Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 48.753, 184.604
3. 09A, Joey Clanton, Ford, 48.804, 184.411
4. 11A, David Starr, Toyota, 48.809, 184.392
5. 30A, Todd Bodine, Toyota, 48.910, 184.011
6. 21A, Jon Wood, Ford, 48.946, 183.876
7. 51B, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 49.093, 183.826
8. 19A, Derrike Cope, Ford, 49.105, 183.281
9. 99A, Erik Darnell, Ford, 49.118, 183.232
10. 59A, Ted Musgrave, Toyota, 49.272, 182.660
11. 5A, Mike Skinner, Toyota, 49.288, 182.600
12. 6A, Colin Braun, Ford, 49.385, 182.242
style="font-size: 10pt">13. 10B, Brendan Gaughan, Ford, 49.484, 181.877
14. 88A, Matt Crafton, Chevrolet, 49.557, 181.609
15. 13A, Shelby Howard, Chevrolet, 49.565, 181.580
16. 5B, Mike Skinner, Toyota, 49.568, 181.569
17. 14A, Rick Crawford, Ford, 49.748, 180.912
18. 23B, Johnny Benson, Toyota, 49.770, 180.832
19. 07A, Shane Sieg, Chevrolet, 49.777, 180.806
20. 18A, Stacy Compton, Dodge, 49.785, 180.777
21. 29A, Scott Lynch, Dodge, 49.942, 180.209
22. 28A, Wayne Edwards, Chevyrolet, 50.003, 179.989
23. 4A, Stacy Compton, Dodge, 50.012, 179.957
24. 9A, Justin Marks, Toyota, 50.321, 178.852
25. 08A, Jason White, Dodge, 50.577, 177.946
26. 08A, Jason White, Dodge, 50.951, 176.640
27. 60B, Terry Cook, Toyota, 51.076, 176.208
28. 46A, Erin Crocker, Chevrolet, 51.197, 175.792
29. 22A, Phillip McGilton, Toyota, 51.275, 175.524
30. 8A, Chad McCumbee, Chevrolet, 51.284, 175.493
31. 33A, Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 51.321, 175.033
32. 60A, Terry Cook, Toyota, 51.419, 175.033
33. 2A, Jack Sprague, Chevrolet, 51.500, 174.757
34. 20B, Scott Lagassee Jr., Ford, 51.621, 174.348
35. 16A, Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 51.649, 174.253
36. 14B, Rick Crawford, Ford, 51.652, 174.243
37. 51B, Kyle Busch, Toyota, 51.695, 174.098
38. 46B, Erin Crocker, Chevrolet, 51.771, 173.842
39. 53, Justin Hobgood, Chevrolet, 53.016, 169.760