Michigan: Mayfield - Dodge interview

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON RACING AT MICHIGAN "I like it. It's always cool to come to Michigan. I like this style of track. All the manufacturers are here, and Dodge is the one we're concerned about.

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)

COMMENT ON RACING AT MICHIGAN "I like it. It's always cool to come to Michigan. I like this style of track. All the manufacturers are here, and Dodge is the one we're concerned about. Michigan is a big, fast track. You can run two-wide, three-wide. You can pass. It's not a follow-the-leader track. You can race here. The only thing I don't like about it is it's a fuel mileage track and it usually comes down to the end. Sometimes the best car doesn't always win here. I've just about won here a couple of times. We either break something or miss it at the end or fuel mileage got us. Hopefully this time we'll have good fuel mileage, nothing will bite us and we'll have a chance to win. We're pumped up. We're excited about it. We tested our road course car yesterday, and we learned some stuff that we feel like might help us on down the road at the other tracks. We're going to keep going and going and get better and better and hopefully win one soon."

COMMENT ON THE EVERNHAM ENGINES "We've got great engines and over the last year or so they've really done a 180. They turn a lot of rpm's if they have to, and they're great on fuel mileage."

A RECENT ARTICLE SAID GREG BIFFLE WAS OVERRATED. DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY, TOO? "I think Biffle is a little bit like I am as far as we're not the ones going out there and talking a big game. We just go out there and do our jobs and be done with it. We might not be the ones that have our picture on a watch or something like that. We're racers. You can tell he's a racer. You can tell Mark Martin, Carl Edwards all the guys over at Roush's are racers. They're probably all underrated over there. Kurt Busch won the championship and I feel like he didn't get the recognition he deserves. He's a good driver, and he's probably underrated. I don't know if he's underrated or maybe there's some overrated drivers out there."

DEFINE RACER "A racer isn't worried about his souvenir sales. You've got to have that. That's part of the deal, but a racer is one who is involved in the car, involved in the setup, knowing what he's got, understands how everything works and that's all he cares about -- getting in that car and winning races, not off the track activities. It's not a dig against anybody. You see some guys in the sport and their priority is worrying about that kind of stuff instead of racing the car and being involved with the guys and doing what it takes to win races. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is that way. He's involved in his car. I'm not saying anybody in particular. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a racer. You look at him and he's involved with that car all the time making decisions. Whoever rates the drivers -- underrated or overrated -- needs to look at the whole big picture. I'm not sure who's underrating or overrating, but that's just my feeling on it. We wouldn't be here if we weren't halfway decent, if we couldn't at least back it out of the parking lot."

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT NOT TO OVERDRIVE THE CAR? "We've done this the last two weeks. I can remember when we were that before we finished 30th. Now we finish 14th, 11th, 12th -- that's what you've got to do and it takes an entire team effort. It takes a crew chief knowing the car is not that good that day. It's a 20th place car and he puts you in position to finish 10th whether it's coming out of the pits with two tires or whatever. Then you finish 12th or 14th instead of 20th. It's a total team effort, and that's what it takes now. You can still as a driver, you might have a 20th place car and take the crew chief and pit crew out of it and still get a 15th-place out of it, but the days of 15th and winning the race are pretty slim and none unless luck and strategy and everything else comes through."

WHO'S YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITION HERE? "In the past I could sit here and name five drivers. Now you look at the board in practice and the top 20 or 25 could win the race. How do you narrow it down? That's what you work on and try to get better. Then you might do all those little things and have the winning car on Sunday and somebody else does some kind of wild pit strategy and gets 10 spots in front of you and you end up 10th. That's what we're seeing. The guy with the best car doesn't always win. Biffle has run away with it a couple of times this year, but you don't see it as much as you used to. Right now if I told you how I'd predict Sunday's race it would be who knows? It's going to come down to who does the right strategy. You could use to pick the dominant car."

COMMENT ON ROAD RACING NEXT WEEK "Since I've been with this team I've been in the top 10 in just about every road course race. Last year I was running ninth (at Sonoma) with about five to go and I spun out. That was my fault, but I've been in the top 10 in just about every one of them. I don't want anybody to hear about me on the road courses. I like to float along under the radar and let everybody else get all the hype. I'll just lay low and do my deal."

HOW DOES A ROAD COURSE BRING OUT ROAD RAGE? "It brings it out when the green flag falls. It's crazy. Everybody pulls beside you and you'll go past the guy and you don't quite have him cleared and another guy will come along and pass both of you. It gets you ticked off, but you've got to be mature enough to hold back and not take yourself out like I did last year. You've just got to get mature about it and not get road rage."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kurt Busch , Mark Martin