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Sprague Takes Points Lead to Chevy Trucks NASCAR 150 in Phoenix

10 April 1998

AVONDALE, AZ - Defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague likes Phoenix International Raceway. His NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series record boasts the most pole positions and the most wins at the fast one mile oval on the outskirts of Phoenix. Spragues first series victory came at PIR.

Heading into the Chevy Trucks NASCAR 150 Desert Star Classic, race three of the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 27-event schedule, the Team Hendrick Chevrolet driver sits atop the point standings.

Phoenix has been good to us, said Sprague. I guess you could say it is my favorite track. My first win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series came here and we were fortunate enough to win three races in a row. The track is very well suited to our program. It would be great to get our first win in 1998 at Phoenix.

When we got to PIR for this race last year, we were sitting sixth in the points coming off of three really disappointing races, Sprague continued. After the win, we were in second and had to battle the entire season to win the championship. This year, we come in here with a slim points lead and have had two really solid runs. That doesnt guarantee anything in this series. The competition is just too tough. What it does tell our team is we havent lost our momentum from last season and are geared to make an all-out effort at successfully defending our championship.

Dennis (Connor, crew chief) and the crew are committed to be the first team to win back-to-back Truck titles, concluded Sprague. I am totally focused on that goal as well. We have tremendous support from everyone at Team Hendrick. Although we dont have a primary sponsor on the truck, they say we are close. Our associate sponsors; Quaker State, AC, Rotary, and GMAC have been great. This would be a perfect weekend for it all to fall into place.

On his way to the 1997 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, Sprague posted an impressive record with three wins, 16 top-five finishes and 23 times in the top-ten with winnings of $880,835, the largest single-season figure in series history. Sprague is the leading series money winner with $1,627,423 to date.

The Chevy Trucks NASCAR 150 Desert Star Classic is scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 1998 at 3:00 p.m. (PT). Live television coverage will be provided by ESPN2 and the NASCAR Truck Network will broadcast the race live to over 250 radio affiliates nationwide.