Daytona II: Jeremy Mayfield preview

JEREMY MAYFIELD QUOTES "At Daytona it's hard to tell how it's going to go. Half the time you're a sitting duck there, waiting for something to happen. Hopefully, we'll be good enough to race up front. If we can run up front the whole time...

JEREMY MAYFIELD QUOTES

"At Daytona it's hard to tell how it's going to go. Half the time you're a sitting duck there, waiting for something to happen. Hopefully, we'll be good enough to race up front. If we can run up front the whole time and avoid the big one, we'll come home with a good finish. That's really our goal now.

"We're definitely back to where we were when we had all of that momentum going for us at the end of last year. We're even a little bit better now. We really need some luck. We needed a lot of luck on our side to make it through that. We're there, though. We just have to continue on getting better and better every week. If we do that, at this time next year we'll be in even better shape."

STATS & FACTS

CAREER AT DAYTONA

* Mayfield has made 21 starts at Daytona Int'l Speedway. He has two top-five and six top-10 finishes at the racetrack. He has led three Daytona races for a total of nine laps. Mayfield started 22nd and finished 25th in this year's Daytona 500.

* Mayfield's best finish at Daytona is third, which he earned in the 1998 Daytona 500, starting from the 13th position. Mayfield's best start was from the sixth position in the 1999 Daytona 500.

MAYFIELD BEGINS 2004 SEASON IN HIGH GEAR

* After 16 races, Mayfield's average finish (17.00) is more than seven spots ahead of what it was at this point last year. Mayfield has also earned 404 more points, and ranks 14 positions higher in the points standings than he did heading into last year's Pepsi 400.

WELL BLOW ME DOWN!

* Race fans everywhere will share in the celebration of Popeye The Sailor Man, one of the most recognizable icons of the 20th century, as he celebrates his 75th birthday in 2004. During the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup night race at Daytona International Speedway, Evernham Motorsports drivers Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kahne will drive special-edition Dodge Dealers/UAW/Popeye Dodges featuring imagery culled from assorted Popeye comic strips.

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* After running at Sonoma, Mayfield moves to 13th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points standings. He is 123 points out of the top 10, and 217 points out of fifth place.

LAST WEEKEND AT SONOMA

* Mayfield qualified his Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge 21st at Sonoma, but the team chose to change engines after the first practice on Friday. In turn, he was forced to start at the rear of the field per NASCAR rules. Mayfield remained optimistic that his Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge and the No. 19 Dew Crew would have what it took to help him work up through the field. And work up through the field he did, a tough task from his starting position. He brought his Dodge into the pits on lap 34 for fuel only, a smart call by team director Kenny Francis that allowed Mayfield to stay out on the next caution and gain spots on the field. By the midway point, Mayfield was running 12th. He moved to the 11th spot on lap 82, and challenged for a top-10 finish there until late in the race. But, something happened as he entered turn four on lap 100 and his Dodge spun away from him. He had to bring it into the pits for right side tires and this cost him positions on the field. He wasn't able to regain many positions in the closing laps of the race, and finished the day 30th.

DOVER POLE POSITION

* Mayfield earned his first pole position of 2004 and the eighth pole of his career this June at Dover. Mayfield lapped the speedway in 22.288 seconds, 161.522 mph. He broke Rusty Wallace's track-qualifying record of 22.505 seconds, 159.964 mph, set Sept. 24, 1999.

* The qualifying record was the second of three records set by Evernham Motorsports this season (Kahne -- Las Vegas, Mayfield -- Dover, Kahne -- Pocono).

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Kasey Kahne