Martinsville: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Mayfield Motorsports Ready for Martinsville CORNELIUS, N.C. (March 26, 2009) -- When Jeremy Mayfield made the decision to start Mayfield Motorsports he knew his brand new race team would face challenges in the early months. After qualifying his...

Mayfield Motorsports Ready for Martinsville

CORNELIUS, N.C. (March 26, 2009) -- When Jeremy Mayfield made the decision to start Mayfield Motorsports he knew his brand new race team would face challenges in the early months. After qualifying his No. 41 All Sport Toyota Camry for the biggest race of the year -- the Daytona 500 -- along with the following event at the Auto Club Speedway, the team has fallen short of qualifying for the past three events.

"It's been tough -- missing races is never easy," explained Mayfield. "But we've worked really hard in the last month to improve our program and that sort of thing takes time to see in on track performance. Martinsville is definitely my kind of track and I feel really good about this weekend. We've got a new car and we had a really good test this week at Little Rock."

The adversity has made the team stronger than ever and with a newly re-built racecar, Mayfield Motorsports expects a major rebound at Martinsville Speedway.

"The thing about Martinsville is that everyone's lap times are going to be so close, probably within about three-tenths from the pole sitter to the last place car," explained Mayfield. "So the pressure is really on for me to just hit my marks and have a clean lap. Who makes the show is going to come down to who makes the least mistakes and with all the things we learned at the test, I have a really good feeling about Martinsville."

On the heels of that successful short track test at the Little Rock 1/2-mile oval at Rockingham Speedway, Crew Chief Tony Furr is quick to commend the team for their efforts to get this car ready to come to the race track.

"We've got a new car for this weekend -- it's the first brand new car this team has built ourselves," said Furr. "We bought a chassis from Ganassi last month and the team really put a lot of hours into getting the car ready to for this event. We cut some weight out and put our own geometry in it. It's going to be a lot better than the car we had at Bristol."

The results of Wednesday's test combined with Mayfield's past success at the track leaves Furr feeling a bit more confident heading to the .526-mile paperclip oval racetrack.

"Wednesday was our first real test as a new team," said Furr. "When you get to the track you have such limited time to try different things and to make any ground up on the big teams. To be able to take this new car to the track and really work through some things gives us all a lot of confidence going into this weekend."

In spite of the adversity the team has faced, Furr has unyielding trust in his driver's ability to succeed at Martinsville.

"No doubt Jeremy is ready for a rebound performance," said Furr. "This is a good track for him and we've run at this track together before - in 1995 and 1996 for Cale Yarborough - and had a top-five run so we've got that history to build on and to motivate the team."

With a good chance of inclement weather covering the Martinsville area on Friday, a rainout in qualifying would guarantee Mayfield a spot in the field.

"It doesn't look too good for weather," said Mayfield. "Which is good and bad --obviously I'd be happy to be in the race but since I have a lot of confidence in the things we found at the test , I'd like to be able to qualify up front in the top-15 or even top-10. Still, if it rains, we're in -- so that's great news for this whole organization."

-credit: mm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Cale Yarborough