KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sept. 30, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team qualified in the 26th spot for the LifeLock 400 at Kansas Speedway and looked forward to posting a solid finish in Sunday's event. After spending the entire race ...
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sept. 30, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team qualified in the 26th spot for the LifeLock 400 at Kansas Speedway and looked forward to posting a solid finish in Sunday's event. After spending the entire race working on the handling of the 360 OTC Toyota Camry, Mayfield drove the Bill Davis Racing entry to a 22nd-place finish, the team's best finish of the season.
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owners' point standings, Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team were forced to make the field for Sunday's event based on speed. Mayfield was the 21st of 47 competitors scheduled to take to track for his qualifying run. His speed of 171.576 mph around the 1.5-mile track earned him the 26th spot on the starting grid.
Mayfield took the green flag for the start of the event and almost immediately encountered a loose-handling racecar. Crew chief Joe Lax called for wedge adjustments to the car during the first pit stop, which came when NASCAR officials waved the yellow flag due to rain showers that had moved into the area. The red flag was displayed several laps later for the same reason. Mayfield held the 38th place.
Track drying was complete 45 minutes later, and Mayfield pitted for additional changes before the race restarted on lap 19. Though the adjustments helped for several laps, the 360 OTC Camry became much too tight. Lax continued to evaluate the handling of the machine and made changes during each pit stop through the first 71 laps of the scheduled 267-lap race.
Lax decided to keep Mayfield out on the track during a caution period on lap 71, in an effort to gain track position. Many of the cars ahead of Mayfield made pit stops, so when the green flag waved for the lap 74 restart, Mayfield held the 20th spot.
Mayfield's Toyota Camry was still not handling the way in which he needed, but Lax and the crew never gave up. Things began to look up when the caution flag waved for rain on lap 145 and the No. 36 team was awarded the Lucky Dog pass, which returned the team to the same lap as the leaders. Mayfield held the 23rd spot when the second red flag of the day was displayed for rain.
After a lengthy rain delay and track drying process, the drivers fired up their machines once again. NASCAR informed the crews that the race would be shortened to 225 laps. Mayfield made a pit stop for four tires, fuel, a wedge adjustment and the addition of a spring rubber just before the lap 156 restart, and he returned to the track in 22nd place. He avoided an accident in front of him several laps later and made his way into the top 15 on lap 166, though he slipped through the field somewhat in the ensuing laps. Darkness quickly descended on the area, and on lap 183, NASCAR officials let the teams know that the race would be shortened even further -- to 210 of the scheduled 267 laps.
The changes Lax and the crew made in the final pit stop of the event began to pay off in the late stages of the race. Mayfield began to make his way through traffic, and when the checkered flag finally waved, the team held the 22nd place.