Preseason Test: Mayfield - Dodge interview

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger) COMMENT ON NEW LOOK AT DIS "I'm still getting lost. The garage area has a whole different look. You get used to visual places in your career as far as the racetracks and going out every...

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

COMMENT ON NEW LOOK AT DIS

"I'm still getting lost. The garage area has a whole different look. You get used to visual places in your career as far as the racetracks and going out every morning it looks like a whole different racetrack. It's pretty neat. It's great to see the things they've done to it. It should be great for the fans. I really haven't had a chance to sit back and look at everything that's been done, but I do know the garage area is different and the way we get in and out of the racetrack is different and it's pretty neat."

COMMENT ON DAYTONA 500

"We definitely want to win the Daytona 500. Rusty Wallace is probably the best driver who's never won the Daytona 500. He's come close. That's something you want to get over early in your career so you don't have to worry about it, but the Daytona 500 is probably the biggest race we go to and the race we all want to win. For us it's the Super Bowl. You play your whole career and don't win the Super Bowl it's a different. If you've been there and have never won it you get frustrated. It's where it all started and where it's all happening. You talk about the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard, there's a lot of big races, but there's nothing like the Daytona 500. That's why it's so important because it's so hard to win. Dale Earnhardt won it one time and it took him a long time to do it as good as he was here and at Talladega. It's a hard race to win for some reason and a lot of things have to go your way. Things have to be right to win the thing. It's hard to do."

HOW IMPORTANT WILL TESTING BE AT CALIFORNIA AND LAS VEGAS?

"We can't wait to get there. We're not for sure about the new body styles and the new rules. A lot of things have changed. Aero is important because of the new body style. We're not sure how it's going to react. This test is important, but there's so many non-restricted races that we run. It's going to be very important to us and we're going to try to learn all we can to jump-start the season."

DISCUSS THE PRESSURES AND DEMANDS OF THE SPORT

"It's changed a lot since I've been in the sport. I can imagine what Rusty's seen, and I came in about the time Jeff (Gordon) did, so we've seen all the little different changes that have happened over the years. It's got so demanding but yet we get a couple of weeks off and I'm ready to go back it again. I think it's a lifestyle we've chosen to do and love to do. I hear a lot of guys complain about it, but I love it. I want to keep racing another 10 or 15 years. I definitely don't want to go out because the demands are too high or we've got too many fans. That's a good thing, and I don't want that to be the determining factor. When I quit racing I want it to be because I can't do the job anymore on the racetrack, not off the racetrack."

IS THIS THE YEAR FOR EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS?

"When I first started with Ray he looked at the big picture all the time. He's looking so far out. I know that's said more than you can imagine, but he looked so far out that it took me awhile to figure that out. He looked so far down the road, and I wanted to run good now. That's what's wrong with a lot of race teams. They're hit and miss. They run good this week and bad next week, but Ray is very good about putting the right people in the right places. Believe it or not, people say he likes to have control of this and control of that and he's got to be involved in it. That's really not true. The Ray I know now is a huge leader and his control is putting the right people in the right places and let them have control. I think he's done a great job of that. We finished in the top 10 last year and that was just the beginning. I feel like that's the great thing. You see all the things he's done since he started the team and the things we've done the last six months and the things he's doing for the future. We're working for the future. All we worry about is racing now, but so many things are going on that's going to help our race team as a whole for the future. You won't see that until a couple of years down the road. I'd give anything if I had a little bit of his leadership and skills and handle all the stuff he takes on. It's just amazing, but I'm very excited about the future of Evernham Motorsports and I'm hope I can retire (at Evernham Motorsports)."

COMMENT ON MAKING COMMENCIALS

"Most of mine end up being funny. You hear cut, cut, cut and they end up using it. What is funny the guys that drive racecars really don't know a whole lot. All we know how to do is drive a racecar pretty much. Unless you're Ryan Newman. He's an engineer and he knows about numbers, but we don't know all that. It's pretty tough to do a commercial. It looks like you just memorize your lines and say them, but it's hard to do that. You know that a little bit of it is not really you. The best ones you can do is something about your sport or something that fits your personality. When I pulled up, I forget what they wanted me to ask the girl that jumped into my car, but it was something like, 'oh yeah, I like it.' That really wasn't me so I said, 'oh yeah.' They used it. We had a deal at Dodge and only the dealers got to see it. It was Kasey and I. We were at Michigan talking about the Charger. Kasay was driving and me and one of the head guys that designed the car were sitting there watching the car go around the track. I was on the radio and they had the camera on the car and a camera on me. I was messing with him (Kasey) on the radio and he flips me off and we're having fun. We saw it a couple of months ago and I thought they were going to edit it. I see it and I'm cussing and Kasey is flipping me off and everybody is laughing. To be out there screwing around and then have them use it, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not."

ARE YOU GOING TO BOX ANY WITH RAY and HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING THE SENIOR MEMBER OF EVERNHAM MOTORSPORTS?

"I probably won't be boxing with Ray. He's asked me to come over to spar with him. I'm in a no win situation. If you do go over there and unless he just whips the you know what out of you, you've lost. Then when he does that, Ray has a bad habit of going back to the shop and telling everybody. The best thing for me to do is not to show up. To turn the tables, if I went over there to box and got in a lucky shot and broke his nose or something, that would be big. I'm going to stay away from boxing with Ray.

"As far as being the senior guy, it's been a lot of fun. It's been fun watching Tommy and Kasey and all those guys. The good thing about our race team, there's a lot of teams out here and teammates will come in here and tell you they're going to work as teammates or whatever. Most of it is bull. That's something I can tell you. I like working with Kasey. Our teams work together as one. Being the senior member, if I was insecure about my job then it would be easy to happen that way. The young guy comes in and outruns the senior guy. I've been in that position, too. I'm not going to let that happen, and Ray's not going to let it happen. Don't want it to happen. We've got a great deal going on."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rusty Wallace , Ryan Newman