Kansas: Mayfield qualifying press conference

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Qualified 3rd "I don't know where that speed came from. We've been like that all day. My first lap was always slower than my second, and I think Kasey did the same thing. We should be good in...

JEREMY MAYFIELD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) -- Qualified 3rd

"I don't know where that speed came from. We've been like that all day. My first lap was always slower than my second, and I think Kasey did the same thing. We should be good in the race. We're taking care of our Goodyears. It's good to see our Hemi Dodge in the top three. We need a big shovel (to dig out of the hole), but we've got a great race team and great cars. We've got a long way to go, but that's the way it's been all year. We've always had to dig ourselves out of the hole. We've got a strong team, and I can't say enough about my Hemi Dodge. It's a great car. The engine is running great and it's a cool car.

"In practice we weren't as good as we thought we should have been and we struggled a little bit at the beginning of it. We were making changes on our Hemi Dodge. The paint scheme we've got is pretty cool, and we just kept making changes on it. We went out for qualifying and it was pretty wild. The only two cars that were faster on their second lap was me and Kasey, so evidently we've got something going on there helping us. I'm not sure what it is. My first lap I was 19th, and that's a pretty good number, but the second lap we ended up third. It was a pretty good day for us.

"We've been looking forward to Kansas. Not only is it one of our favorite racetracks, but it's a track we thought would be our turning point for the last 10 races. We knew Talladega was going to be tough. I don't know what happened at Loudon. As far as the last 10 races we know what happened, but I don't want to talk about that. Getting through Talladega we were just going to try to survive and we didn't survive. Coming here is a breath of fresh air for us. We love the racetrack and everything that goes along with it. It's definitely one of my top three favorite race tracks. The only reason it isn't my first is because I won Richmond. Now it's the first right now.

"Now I'm going to get a shirt that says you all need to stay far, far away from me because I don't know what's going to happen. We changed it because it's a cool car. It's kind of deceiving. It changes colors so you don't know who it is. I'm real proud and honored to be here at Kansas with the Hemi paint scheme on the car. That's a lot of tradition and history that goes back with that. I'm proud to be a part of that.

"A year and two or three months ago I was snake bit. You've got to take the good with the bad and keep it all balanced and in perspective. I'm not saying it's hasn't been tough. It has been. Really, it's something we know that hasn't been in our control. I was racing last week's race like the 88 and 20 did, all the guys up front. We were waiting until the end of the race and then we banzaied up front to see what would happen. I had no idea I'd be where I was last week with the 02 got into the 43 and turned right in front of me. That does make you stop and ask what's going on. The good side of things is we're here in Kansas and this is one of our favorite places. We knew going into Talladega you never know what's going to happen. Coming out of there I'm about as happy as I've ever been just to get away from there and be here.

"All day today during practice our first lap would be slower than our second lap and it felt better. I feel like if I could have run another lap it would have been better yet. Then Kasey went out and qualified and he did the same thing. There's something with our cars that they were better today on the second lap than the first. Maybe the air pressures or shocks or something were a little different from the other guys, but usually that's a good sign of a great racecar when you can run that fast on the second lap. That means it's going to be good on tires and you're not abusing anything. Really a lot of guys slowed down on their second lap, so we're excited to have a car that picks up on the second lap.

"I think our setup is pretty close to what we had last year. It may vary a little bit just from things we've learned from a year ago. The right rear spring is something we were doing this time last year, so that's not new to us. Everybody has caught on to that now, putting more spring in it, but we came back close to what we had. We took a few things we learned from Chicago and similar to this track and the tire we run.

"I'm unbelievably excited about race trim. I'm real happy with the way I feel like the car is going to be tomorrow. If we had qualified 10th today I was going to be happy with that. We knew we had a great racecar and a great race setup coming our way. We tested this car at Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and had an awesome test. Things we learned in race trim that will apply tomorrow that will help us. Our qualifying setup is about the same but our race setup is going to be quite a bit different, and I feel pretty good about that."

"Let's say it was a dream world and I'm Mike Helton right now. I'd probably put the top 10 in their own points race like if something happened to Tony and myself at Loudon it wouldn't be that far behind. It would keep things tighter than what it is. You'd be racing the other guys in the top 10. That'd be the first thing I'd do. Then I'd move a lot of them around -- Talladega, Martinsville and Loudon. I think I'd have Kansas, Chicago, Darlington, I'd even bring Rockingham back, California, Charlotte, Phoenix, Homestead and I'd run two Richmonds. You can go around and get all the drivers personal preferences for racetracks. I betcha wouldn't see any Talladegas except Junior. He'd be the only one there and we'd all be somewhere else. You wouldn't see Loudon or Martinsville, but I bet Kansas would be there. Michigan is great. California is great. Pocono, we'd run two or three Poconos and Darlington. It'd be Pocono, Richmond and California would be the only ones we'd run. That would be about all I'd change, and I don't know if I would take points away for cussing. Every once in awhile I let one slip, and I don't want to lose 25 points."

-dodge motorsports-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Helton