Sprague Earnings Near $1M Mark
MIAMI (AP) _ Jack Sprague capped his third NASCAR truck series championship season Thursday by collecting his largest check _ $401,503 _ since becoming a charter member of the circuit in 1995.
Sprague’s post-championship winnings, distributed at the series’ annual champion’s banquet, boosted his 2001 earnings to $967,492. He won four races this season.
His previous highest season winnings, $880,835, came during Sprague’s 1997 title season. Sprague won his other series championship in 1999.
Greg Biffle remains the only $1 million winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ seven seasons. The current NASCAR Busch Series rookie won $1,002,510 last season.
Sprague, the only driver to have competed in all 170 series races, boosted his career winnings to $4,691,663, extending the all-time money record.
``A lot of great things have happened to me over the past seven years and I’ve got a lot of records in this series,″ said Sprague, who hasn’t announced his plans for the 2002 season. ``We’ve had a great career and I’ve had a lot of fun racing with Hendrick Motorsports.″
Team owner Rick Hendrick joined in Sprague’s celebration, as did the team’s crew chief Dennis Connor.
The banquet also honored top rookie Travis Kvapil, who won a close battle with Ricky Hendrick in becoming just the second freshman competitor to finish among the top five in overall points. Kvapil, winner of October’s event at Texas Motor Speedway, finished fourth on the championship.
Joe Ruttman was chosen as the Craftsman series’ Most Popular Driver by vote of his fellow competitors. Ruttman, who finished third in points, won races at Daytona International Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway.