Darlington II: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Darlington Preview RACING AT DARLINGTON "This is a big weekend for us. It's the Mountain Dew Southern 500, and we have a lot going on. It's pretty cool because Mountain Dew is bringing Carey Hart (freestyle motocross star) to the track ...

Darlington Preview


"This is a big weekend for us. It's the Mountain Dew Southern 500, and we have a lot going on. It's pretty cool because Mountain Dew is bringing Carey Hart (freestyle motocross star) to the track this weekend. I think he's bringing his bike too. I'm sure he'll be doing some crazy stuff out at the Mountain Dew stage. It'll be cool to watch, but that's all I'll be doing. I'll leave the flips and stuff to him, and I'll stick to driving this weekend."


"I understand what NASCAR's doing. It's important to be in markets like California. We're trying to bring this sport to as many people as possible, and we don't have that many races on the West Coast. That being said, it doesn't mean that everyone's going to be happy that they're moving the Mountain Dew Southern 500. You kind of get used to it being on a certain weekend, and I think that's why some people are talking about it so much. You can't really look at it that way though because Darlington is still keeping its dates, and we're able to give the fans out in California another chance to see us."


Mayfield is scheduled to drive chassis No. 37, which he raced at Texas, Las Vegas and Pocono this year. Mayfield also drove this chassis from the pole to victory at the Winston Open last year.



This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 298th career start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 19th career visit to Darlington Raceway. Mayfield has five top-five and five top-10 finishes at the racetrack with one pole. He has led seven Darlington races for a total of 320 laps.


Mayfield earned his best finish at Darlington by moving up nine spots from his 11th place starting position to finish second in the spring race of 1999. Mayfield earned his best start at Darlington in the 2000 spring race when he started from the pole but finished 41st due to an accident.


Jeremy Mayfield reported extremely loose conditions as he piloted his No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge around the 1.366-mile oval earlier this year at the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The Dew Crew worked to adjust the handling of Mayfield's Dodge but several ill-timed cautions and changing track conditions conspired to keep Mayfield from advancing. He finished 30th on the day.


Jeremy Mayfield muscled his way from a 29th place starting position to grab a top-10 finish last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway - a place where track position means everything. Mayfield benefited from efficient pit stops from his Dew Crew and excellent pit strategy from Kenny Francis throughout the evening. Mayfield was caught a lap down early in the race due to on-track contact, but he didn't stay there for long. He regained his position on the lead lap and just over 200 laps into the race was sitting in 18th place. By lap 430 he had moved up to 14th place. Mayfield charged into the top-ten 15 laps later and would not give up his tight hold on the position for the remainder of the evening. Mayfield finished the race in 10th place.


After his 10th place run last weekend at Bristol, Mayfield moved up one spot in the Winston Cup points race to 28th place, 34 points out of the next position and 108 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 Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Mayfield has made 297 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 67 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