FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team headed west to California Speedway this weekend for the Sharp AQUOS 500. After posting a 27th-place qualifying effort Friday, Mayfield was involved in an accident on...
FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 2, 2007) -- Jeremy Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team headed west to California Speedway this weekend for the Sharp AQUOS 500. After posting a 27th-place qualifying effort Friday, Mayfield was involved in an accident on lap 180 and was eventually credited with a 36th-place finish Sunday evening.
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series owners' point standings, Mayfield and the 360 OTC Racing team were forced to make the field for Sunday's event based on speed. Mayfield was the 32nd of 46 competitors scheduled to take to track for his qualifying run. His speed of 179.207 mph around the two-mile track earned him the 27th spot on the starting grid.
Mayfield took the green flag for the start of the event and immediately communicated to crew chief Joe Lax that the 360 OTC Camry was handling tight through the corners. An early caution gave the Bill Davis Racing crew the opportunity to make chassis adjustments, including track bar and spring rubber changes, to the car during the lap 11 pit stop.
Mayfield and Lax continued to battle a tight handling condition through the first 100 laps of the 250-lap event, and the team made several adjustments to the car. After significant air pressure changes and shock changes, Mayfield's Camry began to improve. He held off leader Kyle Busch for as long as possible before going one lap down while running 36th just past the midway point of the race.
On lap 180, Mayfield was running in the middle of a large pack when his 360 OTC machine was sideswiped by Jeff Gordon's car. A large melee ensued. Mayfield managed to steer clear of much of the incident by running through the grass, but he still sustained damage to the front and left side of the car. Mayfield drove to pit lane to the attention of his crew who spent several laps making repairs to the car's sheet metal. Luckily, the repair work was primarily cosmetic, and the team returned Mayfield to the track in time for the lap 187 restart. Mayfield and the crew did their best to overcome the aftereffects of the incident, but with less than 25 laps to go in the event, the team was forced to retire to the garage area and accept a 36th-place finish.
The 360 OTC Racing team will return to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway next weekend for the Chevy Monte Carlo 400. Qualifying will be held Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon's race is scheduled for a 7:40 p.m. ET start. The event will be broadcast on ABC television, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.
. -credit: bdr