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Sprague Feels at Home in Michigan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 13, 2002)—Saddled with disappointing finishes in his last few events, Jack Sprague hopes some home cooking will get his fortunes back on track this Saturday when he returns to Michigan for the Cabela’s 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.

“It’s been a few years since I raced at Michigan, so I’m looking forward to it and for a few different reasons,” said Sprague, who will pilot a brand new No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the event. “My wife and I have a house in Spring Lake and we try to get up there as much as possible, but we really only get to spend a good amount of time there during the winter.

“My brother Jason and I are both looking forward to heading back north. We’ve got a lot of family and friends up that way and it will be good for us to get a chance to see them, even if it won’t be for that long because of our busy schedule at the track.”

Sprague’s last visit to the two-mile oval came in 2000 when he finished 13th in the Michigan 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. This time, he and his Hendrick Motorsports team are hoping a brand new chassis, along with solid notes from teammate Ricky Hendrick’s test session at Michigan earlier this season, will give them a shot at a homecoming ceremony in victory lane.

“I’d like to have a good run at Michigan this weekend because, let’s face it, the last month has been pretty hard on this NetZero team,” said Sprague, who has one Busch Series start at Michigan—a ninth-place finish in the 1993 Gasket 300. “My only Busch race at Michigan paid off with a top-10 finish and we ran a truck there a couple of times before they took it off the schedule.

“We always had good chassis set-ups, but I don’t really know if we can use any of the old notes from the truck series. At least I know the track a bit and that might help.”

Sprague’s best truck series finish in two tries at Michigan came in the 1999 GoRacing.com event, where he qualified fifth and finished fourth. In the Cabela’s 250, he will try to better a 17th-place finish in the most recent Busch Series event, the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

“I think having a weekend off was something all of us as a team needed because we were feeling a lot of pressure after the race at IRP,” said Sprague of the two-week break since racing at Indy. “Having some time to gather your thoughts is always a good thing.”

“We’re now focusing on getting some good finishes and not so much the point race. We’re still third in the points, but can’t win a championship with the finishes we’ve been having.”

The Cabela’s 250 will take the green flag on Saturday, August 17 at 1:30 p.m. EDT at Michigan International Speedway. TNT and MRN Radio will carry the race live.


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