Mayfield disappointed with early season By Shawn A. Akers ATLANTA (March 9, 1999) The days of just hoping for decent, top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series are over for Jeremy Mayfield. After earning his first career victory last ...
Mayfield disappointed with early season By Shawn A. Akers
ATLANTA (March 9, 1999) The days of just hoping for decent, top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series are over for Jeremy Mayfield.
After earning his first career victory last year, he's gotten greedy -- and certainly no one can blame him for that -- in that he not only wants to finish well, he wants to win on a consistent basis. When he doesn't, it's hard for the driver of the No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford to hide the disappointment, especially when unforeseen circumstances get in the way.
"Our luck hasn't been the best in the first three races, but I don't know that it is not something we can overcome," said Mayfield, who is eighth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings after a 17th-place finish in the Las Vegas 400 last Sunday. "Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don't. You make a lot of your own breaks in anything, especially in this sport, but sometimes things just happen.
"It's kind of funny that of the first three races, our two best runs have been our worst finishes. The race at Rockingham was probably our worst of the three, and we finished fifth there. We were good at Daytona and Las Vegas, really good at both places. We were at least a top-three car at both tracks."
Mayfield finished 20th at Daytona before encountering late-race problems, and then rebounded at Rockingham. At Las Vegas, Mayfield was running near the front in the final 10 laps before he was forced to pit under green with a rear-end problem, costing him perhaps a top-five finish.
"We had a great car, as good as anybody out there," Mayfield said. "We felt like we really had something for them, and I think we showed that all day long. We had a bad break with a few laps to go. I felt the vibration and we knew we had to pit, so we did. It's a lot better to do that and lose a lot of positions than to get real gutsy -- 'stupid' is probably a better word -- and hope nothing happens."
But then Las Vegas is something Mayfield, crew chief Paul Andrews and the rest of the No. 12 Mobil 1 team can't think about right now. Their main focus is on this weekend in Atlanta, the Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The 1.5-mile paved speedway was a fairly good race track for Mayfield last year. He finished third in the PRIMESTAR 500 in March, and ran 15th in the season-ending NAPA 500 in November.
"Atlanta would be the type of place for us to turn things around," he said. "Since they reconfigured the place, I really have liked it. I liked it before, too, but it's really gotten fast and pretty racy with the new design. Plus, I've run pretty well on the new design, and that always makes a place a lot more fun.
"All we can do at this point is head on toward Atlanta and hope our bad luck streak is over. Last year, we had like next-to-no bad luck in the first of the season, but it started coming back at us in the second half. These things tend to even themselves out over time, so I knew we have some good luck coming our way."
Source: NASCAR Online