Local Sports Journal

Jack Sprague cut his racing teeth at nearby Thunderbird Raceway and Winston Speedway, before motoring on up to the top of the auto racing world.


Jack Sprague

Sprague, a native of Spring Lake, won championships at both of those local tracks before heading off for greater challenges. In 1987, he headed for North Carolina and the NASCAR Winston Racing Series, where he won more than 30 Late Model stock car events in his first two years. He will be inducted into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony June 8 at the Muskegon Country Club.

Sprague then began a highly-successful, nine-year career in the Busch series, including a fifth-place overall finish on that circuit in 2002.

But it was in the Craftsman Truck series where Sprague made his biggest mark and where he is considered by many as the top driver in the history of that circuit. Sprague won Craftsman Truck series titles in 1997, 1999 and 2001 while driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

He finished in the Top 10 in points in each of his 12 seasons on that circuit and was the first Craftsman Truck driver to win more than $6 million in his career and to lead races for 6,000 laps. Sprague, 48, now lives in Concord, N.C.