Bristol II: Jeremy Mayfield preview

RACING AT BRISTOL "I always get up for Bristol. I love going there. It's a short track, but it's not really because you have some speed there. It's fun because it kind of gives you a break. You know, it has that 'Saturday night at the races'...


"I always get up for Bristol. I love going there. It's a short track, but it's not really because you have some speed there. It's fun because it kind of gives you a break. You know, it has that 'Saturday night at the races' type of atmosphere. I don't know what it's like from the fans' perspective, but as a driver it's pretty awesome to walk in the place and see it packed. It adds some extra energy and excitement to the race."


"You've got to have good pit stops and a good strategy. We're going from Michigan to Bristol and you'd think it would be different but it's really not. You kind of need the same things - a good handling racecar with a good motor. You've got to be able to keep up at Bristol or you can get a lap down real fast. There's always wild stuff going on there and you just never know what can happen. They're racing hard in the front and the back. You almost can't keep up with everything that's going on."


Mayfield is scheduled to drive chassis No. 21, which he raced at Rockingham, Bristol and Dover this year, as well as both Bristol races last year. The car's best finish is 14th at Bristol (a) last year. This chassis qualified third in its most recent race at Dover.



This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 297th career start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 18th career visit to Bristol Motor Speedway. Mayfield has two top-five and four top-10 finishes at the racetrack. He has led three Bristol races for a total of 352 laps.


Mayfield earned his best finish at Bristol by moving up 27 spots from his 30th place starting position to finish third in the spring race of 2001. Mayfield earned his best start at Bristol in last year's spring race when he started a season-high third place and finished 14th.


Mayfield started the 2003 Food City 500 in 18th place. He made contact on the track less than 10 laps into the event, forcing him into the pits for repair. The Dew Crew worked diligently to repair the damage and continued to improve the handling of Mayfield's Dodge throughout the day. Mayfield was able to stay out of any major trouble for the duration of the race. He brought home his No. 19 Dodge in 23rd place.


Mayfield was forced to start last weekend's race at Michigan Int'l Speedway in the rear of the field as the team switched to a backup car on Saturday afternoon. Mayfield's primary car was lost to incident involving debris on the racetrack in Saturday morning's first practice. Early in the race the Dew Crew helped Mayfield adjust his No. 19 Dodge to conditions he reported as "free going into the corners and very tight coming off." As his Dodge began to respond to the team's air pressure, trackbar and spring rubber adjustments, Mayfield picked his way into the top-20 at the half point of the race. He restarted the next to last caution of the day in 24th place with about 60 laps left in the race. The day's final caution came out just four laps later, and Kenny Francis opted not to pit, allowing Mayfield to restart the race in sixth place with 50 laps to go. Unfortunately, the ensuing green flag run spoiled Mayfield's attempt to run the distance of the race without pitting. He came into the pits on lap 182 to take two tires and fuel, and finished the race in 28th place.


Following his 28th place finish last weekend, Mayfield remains 29th in the points race, 65 points out of the next spot and 112 points out of the top-25.


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).


Coming into the 2003 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Mayfield has made 296 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 66 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 NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeremy Mayfield , Sterling Marlin