Fontana: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid RACING AT CALIFORNIA "Well, it's obviously been one of my favorite tracks. You tend to like a place more after you've won there too. We had some trouble there last year, but Bill ran well...

Jeremy Mayfield
No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid

RACING AT CALIFORNIA

"Well, it's obviously been one of my favorite tracks. You tend to like a place more after you've won there too. We had some trouble there last year, but Bill ran well there and we've been making gains. We had a great car at Talladega and then at Martinsville but didn't get to show it. Someone got into us at Talladega and then we lost power steering at Martinsville. Kenny (Francis, team director) and Josh (Browne, team engineer) have this Dew Crew ready to go. We're quietly confident heading out west this week."

GETTING AROUND AT CALIFORNIA

"Last year it seemed like fuel mileage was important. You've got to know what your car can do and be prepared to react to four tires, two tires or maybe just a gas and go. Pit stops will be crucial, like they always are, but I think it could come down to that at the end of the day. You always want to start up front, but you have to have the total package to be up front at the end."

RACE NOTES

This weekend Mayfield will be driving chassis No. 31, which he ran in the fall races at Darlington and Atlanta in 2002. He also drove the car to a 10th place start and 22nd place finish this year at Atlanta.

CAREER AT CALIFORNIA

* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 283rd career start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and seventh career visit to California Speedway. Mayfield has compiled one win, three top-fives and four top-10 finishes at the track. He led laps in four consecutive races at the track from '98-'01, for a total of 48 laps.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

* Mayfield earned his second career Winston Cup Series victory in the 2000 NAPA Auto Parts 500 when he beat Bobby Labonte to the finish line by one-third of a second, becoming only the third different race-winner at California Speedway. Mayfield started the race in the 24th spot after qualifying trials were rained out and passed Mark Martin to lead his first and only laps of the day with 25 left to go in the race.

MAYFIELD IN A HOT SEAT DURING 2002 VICTORY

* Mayfield's 2002 win at California came in a race that he didn't even expect to finish. Strangely enough, he battled a car that was overheating so much throughout the day that his pit crew was forced to throw ice water over him every time he pitted. However, Mayfield withstood the heat lap after lap, and he eventually took the race lead as he waited for his car's engine to blow. A late race caution forced Mayfield to lead a restart with three laps to go, and his engine stopped as he accelerated through the second turn. His main ignition had failed, but Mayfield was able to restart the car through a backup system and maintain his lead to a heart-pounding checkered flag finish.

MAYFIELD HOLDS THREE CALIFORNIA RECORDS

* Mayfield made up the most positions by any race-winner at California (23) when he took the checkered flag at the speedway in 2002. The victory also marked the fewest laps ever led by a race winner at California Speedway (26). Mayfield earned four straight top-10 finishes at California from '98-'01, giving him the most consecutive top-10s of any driver at the track, and tying him for the most top-10s earned at California (Jeff Gordon, Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett).

A POLE POSITION WOULD BE NICE TOO...

* Mayfield's average starting position at California is 13th, but he has narrowly missed the pole position twice in six visits to the track. He started third in the 2001 race, and qualified on the outside pole in his second start at the speedway in 1998.

MOST RECENT RUN AT CALIFORNIA

* Jeremy Mayfield started last year's race in the 14th spot, and managed to spend the early part of the race in the top-10. The No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid was a little tight, but Mayfield managed to run with the top 15 cars until he reported trouble and was forced to come into the pits, falling two laps down. Mayfield brought out the caution on lap 196 when the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid was forced to retire for the day after it stalled on the backstretch.

TWO WEEKS AGO...

* In the season's last race at Martinsville, Mayfield attempted to maneuver through the difficult to pass confines of Martinsville Speedway. He had moved up from 23rd to 16th place by lap 90, but Mayfield lost power steering early on and was battling to hold on to his Dodge. To his credit, Mayfield managed to maintain his track position until he was forced to come in and fix the problem on lap 273. The Dew Crew worked fast and was able to finish the work with only two laps lost. Damage to Mayfield's grill on lap 317 brought Mayfield to the garage for repairs. The Dew Crew once again worked to replace the damaged part, but Mayfield's Dodge was beyond repair. He was forced to retire in 40th place. He lost three spots in the Winston Cup points race, and sits in 32nd spot. He is 152 points out of the top 20.

TALLADEGA POLE POSITION

* Mayfield earned his seventh career pole position, and his first for Evernham Motorsports, in this year's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. The pole was Mayfield's third at Talladega, and makes him one of only three active drivers who have scored three or more poles at the track (Sterling Marlin - three, Bill Elliott - eight). The pole was Mayfield's first since starting up front in the 10/22/2000 Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway. All seven of Mayfield's Bud Poles have been earned on superspeedways (Talladega, Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas).

WINSTON CUP CAREER RECORD

* Coming into the 2003 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, Mayfield has made 282 starts, with seven poles (three at Talladega and one at Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas), three wins (two at Pocono, and one at California), 35 top-fives and 63 top-10s. His most recent win came at Pocono in June of 2000. He earned his most recent pole, and his first pole for Evernham Motorsports at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega on April 6th.

-em-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Sterling Marlin , Mark Martin