Richmond: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid RICHMOND RECORD "We were really good at Richmond both times last year. This race last year, we felt like we had a shot to win it. I know we are really looking forward to it this time.

Jeremy Mayfield
No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid

RICHMOND RECORD

"We were really good at Richmond both times last year. This race last year, we felt like we had a shot to win it. I know we are really looking forward to it this time. Richmond is kind of like a big short track, and you've got to have your car hooked up to have a good day. Track position is always critical; but it's more so at shorter tracks because it's just so hard to pass. Qualifying becomes really important here. You've got to do whatever you can to get your car in the front of all that traffic and then work hard to keep it there. At Richmond, that's usually the difference between a good day or a bad day - or should I say night, since we're racing at night."

NIGHT RACING

"I think everyone loves a good night race, from the fans to the competitors. There's a different kind of excitement. It's prime time Saturday night and you feel a different kind of vibe when you are racing under the lights. There's all those cameras going off, and the cars look cool under the lights. I think it's good to mix it up a little. Racing on Saturday nights kind of breaks up our usual weekend routine. Plus, I get to sleep in a little later on race day, and I always like that."

RACE NOTES

This weekend Jeremy Mayfield will be driving chassis No. 19, which he ran at Martinsville earlier this year as well as both Martinsville and Richmond races in 2002. Mayfield has top finishes of 11th (Martinsville 2002- A), 10th (Richmond - B), and fifth (Richmond - A) in this chassis.

CAREER AT RICHMOND

* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 19th career visit to Richmond Int'l Raceway. He has one top-five and four top-10s at the track. Mayfield has earned consecutive top-10 finishes at Richmond since taking his seat in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, finishing fifth and 10th in the spring and fall races, respectively. He has not led any laps at the racetrack.

REMARKABLE RICHMOND RUNS

* Mayfield earned his best Richmond finish in May of 2002, when he overcame some late-race cautions to take fifth place in a race that was re-scheduled to Sunday afternoon due to rain. The finish was Mayfield's 35th career (and most recent) top-five finish. Mayfield's best start at Richmond is 14th, which he earned in the Sept. race of 1999.

MOST RECENT RUN AT RICHMOND

* In the 2002 fall race at Richmond, Mayfield looked to duplicate his impressive run at the track in May when he finished fifth. He narrowly missed doing so again at the difficult to pass three-quarter mile track. Mayfield finished in 10th place after he was forced to pit for a splash of gas with less than 20 laps to go. After starting from the 21st spot, Mayfield began making up ground immediately. Despite the early cautions, which didn't allow for much maneuvering on track, Mayfield advanced two spots by the second caution on lap eight. He drove into the top five by lap 91. The Dew Crew made some minor adjustments on the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid after Mayfield reported tight conditions at several times throughout the evening. An ill-timed caution midway through the race put several of the former leaders a lap down, including Mayfield. Throughout the next 25 laps, the Dew Crew worked on the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid including the right front fender after the race leader came down on and made contact with Mayfield's Dodge. On lap 234, Mayfield restarted in the 22nd position. He was in 17th place by lap 260. Fourteen laps later, he pitted, taking on two tires and pulling out in second place. He battled with the leaders and worked on lapped traffic throughout the next 65 laps. Running in the top-five with 19 laps to go, Mayfield was forced to come into the pits for a three-second gas stop. He had 20 laps to make up ground from the 19th spot. He managed to maneuver through the traffic to capture a 10th place finish.

LAST WEEKEND

* Prior to Sunday's Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, Jeremy Mayfield put his Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in an advantageous starting spot during Friday's qualifying session. Mayfield started the race in 11th place, his fifth top-15 qualifying run this season. Mayfield was on the charts all weekend with competitive practice times. Mayfield started the race with his Dodge a little on the tight side. Mayfield didn't have many complaints about his Dodge, but he got bogged down in traffic and couldn't seem to make up ground throughout the day. An on-track incident with less than 50 laps to go brought Mayfield into the garage for repairs. He was forced to retire after completing lap 233 of 250 laps. Mayfield lost a little ground in the points race, dropping one spot to 33rd. He is just 14 points out of the next spot and 131 points out of 25th place.

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 Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway in October 2000. 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 Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond Int'l Raceway, Mayfield has made 283 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.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeremy Mayfield , Sterling Marlin