No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts Driver:Â Â Â Jeremy MayfieldÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Team Director:Â Kenny Francis Team Owner:Â Ray Evernham CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 53 -- Started sixth and finished 14th at Las Vegas NEW...
No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Race Facts
Driver: Jeremy Mayfield
Team Director: Kenny Francis
Team Owner: Ray Evernham
CHASSIS INFO: Chassis No. 53 -- Started sixth and finished 14th at Las Vegas
NEW POINTS SYSTEM
"The points change and the chase to the top 10 is the same deal as before. You're always running for the top 10. It's no big deal. That's what you're gunning for anyway. We're doing all we can do every week to get back into the top 10. There's no real strategy for laying back and just getting points. We're out there to get all we can each race. You can't worry about it. It's a high pressure sport and we focus on every race. That's all you can do. We were top 10 for a while, then we fell out of the top 10, now we're focused on getting back into that top 10. We're not going to sit here and do nothing. We're going to work hard and do all we can do to get in there. Once we get to the 10-race showdown, it's going to be excitement. It's entertainment, and it's going to be good for the fans. When we get to those last 10 races you're going to use all you learned through the year. Hopefully we'll learn a lot here this weekend and bring it back here this fall."
KEYS TO RUNNING WELL AT CALIFORNIA
"You have to have good downforce, a good body and a good motor. You've got to have good pit stops, too. It's going to be a strategy deal. It's going to be one of those deals where all your normal stuff has got to be there, plus you've got to make the right calls and get good fuel mileage. Just everything has to go right to win California. I've won there before, and that's what I like most about it. I just like California. I like going out there, I like it because it's smooth and it's big, so you can pass and really race.
"We were good at Las Vegas and Atlanta this year, and that should translate to California. I think that kind of race track is more our style right now. We tested at Michigan just recently, and we were real good there and that's just like California. I feel really good about that, I feel like everything building up this year is going to help us out there."
NEW RULES AT CALIFORNIA
"I don't think the softer tires and the spoiler change are going to have much impact on us there. I think we've gotten a good handle on these changes, especially with our runs at Vegas and Atlanta and our test at Michigan. It's about balancing the whole package of the race car.
"DRIVER 360"PREMIERE IN L.A.
"The Driver 360 premiere should be fun. I'm excited about it and I think the show will be good. I had fun doing it. I've never walked the red carpet in Hollywood, so it will be pretty neat. We're going to be in Los Angeles for a few days before the race, so maybe we'll see some stars. I want to see Jennifer Lopez and my wife Shana wants to meet her."
STATS & FACTS
CAREER AT CALIFORNIA
* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 319th career start in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and eighth career visit to California Speedway. Mayfield has compiled one win, three top-fives and four top-10 finishes at the track. He led laps in four consecutive races at the track from 1998 to 2001 for a total of 48 laps led.
* Mayfield earned his second career NEXTEL Cup Series victory in the 2000 NAPA Auto Parts 500 when he beat Bobby Labonte to the finish line by one-third of a second at California. Mayfield started the race in the 24th spot after qualifying was rained out and passed Mark Martin to lead his first and only laps of the day with 25 left to go in the race.
MAYFIELD IN A HOT SEAT DURING 2000 VICTORY
* Mayfield's 2000 win at California came in a race that he didn't even expect to finish. Strangely enough, he battled a car that was overheating so much throughout the day that his pit crew was forced to throw ice water over him every time he pitted. However, Mayfield withstood the heat lap after lap, and he eventually took the race lead as he waited for his car's engine to blow. A late race caution forced Mayfield to lead a restart with three laps to go, and his engine stopped as he accelerated through the second turn. His main ignition had failed, but Mayfield was able to restart the car through a backup system and maintain his lead to a heart-pounding checkered flag finish.
MAYFIELD HOLDS MULTIPLE CALIFORNIA RECORDS
* Mayfield made up the most positions by any race-winner at California (23) when he took the checkered flag at the speedway in 2000. The victory also marked the fewest laps ever led by a race winner at California Speedway (26). Mayfield earned four straight top-10 finishes at California from '98-'01, tying him for the most consecutive top-10s of any driver at the track with Rusty Wallace, and tying him for the most top-10s earned at California.
A POLE POSITION WOULD BE NICE TOO...
* Mayfield's average starting position at California is 12.7, but he has narrowly missed the pole position twice in seven visits to the track. He started third in the 2001 race, and qualified on the outside pole in his second start at the speedway in 1998.