Darlington: Jeremy Mayfield preview

JEREMY MAYFIELD NO. 19 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE INTREPID THE DARLINGTON STRIPE "You've got to run up top at Darlington because of the banking. That's why you always hear about the Darlington stripe. It's real big in turns one and two and tight...

JEREMY MAYFIELD
NO. 19 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE INTREPID

THE DARLINGTON STRIPE

"You've got to run up top at Darlington because of the banking. That's why you always hear about the Darlington stripe. It's real big in turns one and two and tight in three and four. It's a real abrasive track too, so tires are going to be an issue. Darlington is a little weird in how it's laid out. I really like it though. It's kind of like how Pocono is in that it's a little different than most tracks we go to. I don't know what that says about me that I like the weird ones, but I do."

GETTING AROUND DARLINGTON

"I've run pretty well at Darlington. I think you either love it or hate it. I've always loved it. Part of that is because when I drove for Cale (Yarborough) he taught me a few things about getting around that track that have really helped me through the years. You really have to race the ractrack there to get a good finish. Everyone always says that, but they say it because it's true. Staying out of trouble is one of the biggest keys to running up front there too. You can get to sliding around so easily because the track is so abrasive and the next thing you know you can be caught up in something you wish you weren't."

RACE NOTES

Jeremy Mayfield is scheduled to drive chassis #6 at Darlington. This is the same chassis that he raced to a ninth place finish at Kansas in 2002.

CAREER AT DARLINGTON

* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 278th career start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 18th visit to Darlington Raceway. Mayfield has one-pole, five top-fives, five top-10s, and has led seven races for a total of 320 laps led at the racetrack. Mayfield has finished fifth or better in five of the last 10 races at Darlington.

DARLINGTON HIGH-MARKS

* Mayfield has finished second, third (twice), fourth and fifth at Darlington. He made his best run at Darlington in March of 1999, when he moved up from his 11th place starting position to take the runner-up spot in the race. Mayfield earned his best qualifying effort at the track in September of 2000, starting from the pole. It was Mayfield's fourth career pole position.

MAYFIELD REACHED MILESTONE AT DARLINGTON

* Mayfield's first laps ever led in a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race came at Darlington in March of 1995 when he led once for 18 laps in the Transouth Financial 400. He started 35th and finished 31st in the event.

MOST RECENT RUN AT DARLINGTON

* Mayfield battled handling problems throughout last year's fall race at Darlington but managed to stay on the lead lap to finish in 20th place. He was originally set to pilot the No. 19 Dodge Intrepid R/T, which featured a Mountain Dew special paint scheme, from the 29th spot, but was forced to go to the rear of the field when the Dew Crew changed engines during Saturday's final practice session. Mayfield battled a loose handling car all day due in part to the changing weather conditions. The Dew Crew used trackbar and air pressure adjustments to try and tighten up the car for Mayfield who managed to stay on the lead lap at the end of the race.

LAST WEEKEND

* Last weekend at Atlanta, Mayfield complimented his teammate Bill Elliott's top-10 qualifying run with one of his own. He placed his No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in the 10th starting spot with a lap of 29.225, 189.701 mph. On Sunday, Mayfield fought to hold onto his Dodge, which he reported was extremely loose. The Dew Crew made major adjustments throughout the day including trackbar, wedge, rubber and air pressure. A late race adjustment improved the handling for Mayfield, and he was able to move up 10 spots in the closing laps to finish in the 22nd spot. Mayfield remains 24th in the Winston Cup points race. He is 44 points out the 20th position.

WINSTON CUP CAREER RECORD

* Coming into the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, Mayfield has made 277 starts, with six poles (two 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. His last pole came at the Pop Secret Popcorn 400 in Rockingham, N.C. in 2000.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield