LMS Media Tour: Jeremy Mayfield quotes from Evernham Motorsports Stop
JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Charger)
COMMENT ON WHAT ENGINEERING MEANS TO YOUR TEAM
"In our type of racing you can't just have it all about numbers. It's just not going to work. We know the balance numbers but getting those balance numbers and applying them to the racetracks is a different story. Once you get that done, you've got to have someone who's good with the guys as a coach and engineering isn't a part of that deal. You need a good leader, someone who keeps the guys pumped up. I think that's a big part of our sport. You've got to have the right mixture of people to make it work."
DO YOU LIKE THE NEW SPOILERS?
"The best I ever ran in that 12 car, I knew what our numbers were. It was more toward more downforce and less rear. Since I've been here, I haven't really had those numbers back until this year. We cut the spoilers off and shifted some balance to the front of the car. I feel like this year's rules are going to fall right in our hands. I'm not going to say it's because it's a loose racecar, but different drivers like different things. Bill likes a lot of rear. Kasey is kinda in between, and I love a lot of front. We're to a point where we've got a little bit of what we all like."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN BY MAKING THE CHASE LAST SEASON?
"Looking back I'm going to tell you we've got to go all out at the beginning of the season because I don't want to go through what I went through last year. The last race, last lap, whatever it was. I got out of the car and wondered what happened. You won't change the way you play offense. I guess the best way to sum that up is you're not going to go out there and race any harder. Your guys can't work any harder. All you can do when you're having a bad day is try to capitalize on everybody else's mistakes. If you're going to finish 20th, try to finish 18th. We found out last year that two spots is a lot of cars. I think that's what you'll see more than anything. Guys will repair when they wreck and when they're having a bad day gamble on strategy."
COMMENT ON DAYTONA TEST
"My jaws are hurting from talking and smiling. I've been smiling like crazy. I'm so excited about this year. I've never been in this type of situation where I've got everybody around me and everybody pulling for me. Ray and I are doing great. I'm flying below the radar. I'm kinda scared. I've never been in a situation where everything is right and we're just beginning. Last year was a good year, but now we've got all our ducks in a row and we're ready to race."
COMMENT ON FONTANA, VEGAS TEST
"That's when we're going to learn more about the Charger and know more about what's going to happen. Daytona is hit and miss. You're either going to be real good or real bad. I feel like we're going to be good at Daytona for sure, and we should be good at Fontana and Vegas. When Daytona is over you take a deep breath and get ready to go."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU HEAR CHARGER?
"I think of Richard Petty and all those races he won in the Charger. It's cool to be a part of that. We've got a lot of good things going. Our team is in great shape, and Dodge is showing its commitment by bringing back the Charger. If I can do half of what Richard Petty did in the Charger I'll be all right. I think the word Charger sounds good. It sounds like Hard Charger."
WILL THE URGENCY CARRY OVER FROM LAST SEASON?
"Yeah, I've felt an urgency to get this year going. I knew last year was a great year, but it was like a building year. This year will be different. I'm confident about all my guys and the new car and the way everything is going at Evernham Motorsports. We're just beginning, and I'm excited about that. We want the Chase more now than we've ever wanted it. I don't know if it changes anything, but right now I'm looking at the big picture on down the road."
DID GETTING IN THE CHASE WEAR YOU OUT?
"Once we got in I was more excited than I'd ever been, but we came back and the 31 and 16 got in a wreck and got us and that kind of took the air out of us. It was like we could never get rolling in the Chase, but I still feel good about last season. We were just a victim of circumstances in the last 10 races."