Atlanta: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T Racing at Atlanta "I'm looking forward to Atlanta. It's been a great racetrack for me. We tested there a couple of weeks ago and had a good test. I'm really excited about going to Atlanta and...

Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

Racing at Atlanta
"I'm looking forward to Atlanta. It's been a great racetrack for me. We tested there a couple of weeks ago and had a good test. I'm really excited about going to Atlanta and feel like we've got as good a shot at winning as anybody."

One-engine rule at Atlanta
"I think Atlanta has always been hard on engines because we run so fast, so this will be the ultimate test for the one-engine rule. I guess we'll see who is going to put it on the line for Atlanta. It'll be a pretty touchy situation for a lot of people. You'll see guys that are going to run well or not good at all. I feel like going into this weekend, we'll probably run the minimum amount of laps that we can and still feel like we're competitive."

Las Vegas
"It felt good to have a decent finish at Vegas. When we unloaded off the truck, we weren't as good as we needed to be in the first practice. We kept working on it and we got a decent qualifying spot. Saturday, we worked on it again and then finally got a pretty decent car. We went into Sunday's race and kept working on it all day, and at the end of the race we were good. That shows me the communication and the part a lot of people call chemistry is on its way. The thing I feel like is the chemistry is there. Sammy (crew chief Johns) and I get along great and the race team is pumped up. Ray has been awesome to work for. All that stuff is there. When you try to run up front in Winston Cup Racing, it's like you have to be clicking perfect."

Stats & Facts

This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 13th career start at Atlanta. He has three top fives and three top 10 finishes at the track. Jeremy earned his best finish at the track twice, making third place runs in March of 1998 and in the season-finale of 1999. His first start at Atlanta came in March of 1995 at the Purolator 500 where he started 14th and finished 36th after being caught up in a mid-race accident. Mayfield earned his first career top five finish by finishing fifth in Atlanta's spring race of 1996, the Purolator 500. He has led laps in four Atlanta races.

Mayfield's most recent start at Atlanta came in last year's Cracker Barrel 500, where he started sixth and was forced to retire in the 38th spot after experiencing handling problems.

After starting 18th last week in Las Vegas, Mayfield used the first part of the race to work on the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid R/T's handling. Crew chief Sammy Johns and the Dew Crew made several adjustments to improve the loose handling of the car during the first half of the race. Pit strategy also played into Mayfield's advancement as the team used two two-tire stops to improve their track position. Mayfield assumed the first spot on lap 234 and would stay there for a total of 17 laps before finishing second on the day. Mayfield last led a race at Darlington in September 2001.

Mayfield's second place run was his best finish at Las Vegas, and his best overall finish since the 2000 Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami where he finished second.

With his second place finish at Las Vegas, Mayfield jumped 18 spots in the Winston Cup championship points to the 18th position. He is 27 points out of the top 15. Mayfield also qualified for the Winston No Bull 5 $1 million bonus, which will be run at the Charlotte race in May.

Coming into the 2002 season, Mayfield had 237 starts, with six poles (two at Talladega and one at Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas), three wins (two at Pocono, and one at California), 33 top fives and 58 top 10s. His most recent win came at Pocono in June of 2000.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield