CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team qualified in the 38th spot for the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and looked forward to posting a solid finish in Saturday evening's event. Unfortunately,...
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 13, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team qualified in the 38th spot for the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and looked forward to posting a solid finish in Saturday evening's event. Unfortunately, the team was hit with problems during the race and was unable to make it to the end of the event. Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team were credited with a 39th-place finish.
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owners' points standings, Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team were forced to make the field for Saturday's event based on speed. Mayfield was the 43rd of 49 competitors scheduled to take to track for his qualifying run. His speed of 184.672 mph around the 1.5-mile track earned him the 38th spot on the starting grid.
The green flag waved for the start of Saturday night's event, and Mayfield immediately communicated to crew chief Joe Lax that the handling of the 360 OTC Toyota was tight in the middle of the corners. Mayfield's first pit stop of the evening on lap 23 included four tires and air pressure and chassis adjustments, which were made in an effort to remedy the tight condition.
It wasn't long before Mayfield let Lax know the car still wasn't handling to his liking. Several caution flags in the first 100 laps of the scheduled 334-lap event allowed the team to make additional changes to the car. At the lap 100 mark, Mayfield commented that the car was better than it had been all night. Unfortunately, Mayfield soon reported that the car was vibrating and jumping out of gear. He drove the car to the garage area so the crew could assess the problem. After spending 13 laps in the garage, Mayfield returned to the track only to encounter the same problems. Another trip to the garage resulted in a change of the gear box and drive shaft. Mayfield returned to the track on lap 189 in the 41st position.
Though they were many laps down, Mayfield, Lax and the team continued to work on the handling of the car, and in the closing laps of the race, the veteran driver informed his crew that the car was handling pretty well. When it became clear that the team could not gain or lose any additional places and the car again started to vibrate, Mayfield retired the car to the garage for the night. The No. 36 Bill Davis Racing team was credited with a 39th-place finish.
The NEXTEL Cup Series sticks close to home again this week for the Subway 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Qualifying for the event will be held Friday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon's race is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. ET start. The race will be broadcast on ABC television, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
. -credit: bdr