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Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T COMING TO CALIFORNIA "I've been looking forward to it (California race) all year. The way things are going and the progression I've seen with the team and the cars and everybody at the shop...

Jeremy Mayfield
No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

COMING TO CALIFORNIA

"I've been looking forward to it (California race) all year. The way things are going and the progression I've seen with the team and the cars and everybody at the shop and the whole deal, I've just been really excited about getting to California. I feel like that's going to be the turning point of the year. I think we're going to go there and get the momentum rolling.

WINNING AT CALIFORNIA

"As a driver when you go to a place you've run good at or won at, you go there knowing that you've done it and can get it done. It is a different level of confidence. When you go there with a car owner that's won, Ray Evernham has won there, too, so we should go there and run well. It boosts your confidence knowing you've won there and can get the job done.

WORKING WITH RAY

"He's made a huge impact on my attitude and my career and the direction my career is going. I really can't say enough. The way he's helped me progress as a driver. When I came over here, that's all I have to do. He's helped me get to a point where I can focus on things that will make me a better driver. I look at him more like a head coach. I feel like Ray's job for that race team is to teach everybody what it takes to be better. His approach of handling people and talking to people just amazes me. He's on the radio with me every week. I guess you'd say the inspiration and energy he gives off to me in the race car is just amazing. It's been a huge impact on the way my career is headed.

STATS & FACTS

* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's sixth career visit to California Speedway. He has one win, three top-fives and four top-10 finishes in five starts at the track. Mayfield has an average finish of 3.75 in his last four races at California, and a career average finish of fifth place at the track. He took his second career victory in the 2000 California 500, starting from the 24th spot (his lowest starting position at the track). Mayfield earned his best qualifying spot at California in 1998 when he started second and finished second. He has led at least once in the last four races at California for a total of 57 laps.

* Last week at Talladega, Mayfield worked the draft in the early stages of the race. He shot to the front at various times throughout the race, taking the lead from eventual winner, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., on laps 33 and 66 and earning five bonus points for leading a lap. On lap 165, "the big one" hit, setting off a chain reaction that involved 24 cars. The No. 19 Dodge Intrepid R/T sustained substantial damage. The Dew Crew worked quickly on the badly damaged race car to get it back out on the track. Due to their work, Mayfield was able to gain valuable finishing spots, finishing 36th.

* Mayfield has shown marked improvement since jumping into his No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T for the 2002 season. Mayfield's current rank of 18th is 10 positions better than his 28th place in the points race after nine races in 2001. He has earned 95 more points than he had at this point last year, and is finishing an average of nearly four places better in each race.

* Jeremy's finish at Talladega drops him into 18th place in the Winston Cup points race. He is just 48 points out of the top-15. Since the Daytona 500 this February, Mayfield has moved up 21 spots in the championship points race (from 39th to 18th). His best overall finish in the points race came in the 1998 season where he ranked seventh at the season's end.

* Mayfield's second-place run this year at Las Vegas was his best run at the track and his best overall finish since the 2000 Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami where he finished second. The finish also qualified Mayfield for the Winston No Bull 5 $1 million bonus, which will be run at the Charlotte race in May.

* Coming into the 2002 season, Mayfield had 237 starts, with six poles (two at Talladega and one at Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas), three wins (two at Pocono, and one at California), 33 top fives and 58 top 10s. His most recent win came at Pocono in June of 2000.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeremy Mayfield