Speedway Officials Help Honor Sprague Championship At NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Banquet
Kentucky Speedway President Mark Simendinger, Communications Director Tim Bray and Director of Operations Andy Vertrees were among those honoring 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Jack Sprague at the season-ending series banquet in Miami, Fla., on Thursday, Nov. 8. Sprague, who won "The Kroger 225" Budweiser Pole at Kentucky in July, and his No. 24 NetZero Platinum Chevrolet Team brought home the points championship hardware by edging out second place finisher Ted Musgrave (-73 pts.) and third place finisher Joe Ruttman (-100 pts.). Sprague's point money totaled $305,552 and brought his total season earnings to $967,462. His 2001 winnings helped him become the first driver in series history to catapult the $4 million mark in career earnings. The 38-year-old Spring Hill, Mich., native also became the first and only three-time points champion in the seven-year history of the series. "This has been a very difficult year for me and my team," Sprague told nascar.com. "We had to overcome a lot of difficulties we weren't used to dealing with. Without having the right leadership in place when we took on the second team of Ricky Hendrick, it could have been a difficult situation for everybody. (Crew chief) Dennis Conner was put in charge of both teams and I couldn't think of a better person to handle it." "I'll tell you, the toughest part about this year was the beginning," Sprague continued. "The Dodge camp had a good thing going but it took us awhile to figure out our (Chevrolet) deal. Once we did that, we just took off." After taking the pole at Kentucky, Sprague was in the hunt for a win on the final lap of the 225-mile affair when the No. 24 NetZero Chevrolet experienced engine trouble on a caution restart and was overtaken by the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge driven by race champion Scott Riggs. Sprague did gain valuable series points in the race with a third place finish. Season tickets for the 2002 Kentucky Speedway season are available now by calling 1-888-652-RACE. Single event ticket sales begin Jan. 7, 2002. "The Kroger 225" returns to Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, July 13, 2002, at 8:00 p.m. Kentucky Speedway will host events May 10-11, featuring a "Short Track Special" and ARCA RE/MAX Series "The Channel 5-155;" June 14-15 with the return of the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Gatorade All Pro Series; July 12-13 when the ARCA RE/MAX Series "The Blue Grass Quality Meats 200" joins "The Kroger 225;" and August 10-11 with the Indy Racing Northern Light Series "Belterra Casino Indy 300" and NASCAR Gatorade All Pro "The WHAS 150." Visit www.kentuckyspeedway.com for complete schedule and ticket information.