Martinsville II: Jeremy Mayfield preview

JEREMY MAYFIELD NO. 19 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE INTREPID MARTINSVILLE "There's going to be a lot of beating and banging this weekend. It's short track racing. You're going to have that. It's fun, but it can also be frustrating because you can...



"There's going to be a lot of beating and banging this weekend. It's short track racing. You're going to have that. It's fun, but it can also be frustrating because you can have a good car and then -- bam someone takes you out or you get into something that wasn't your fault. Let's put it this way, your car is going to have some paint scraped off of it before the day's done."


"We've got to keep this momentum going. We're not giving up. Talladega got us out of our rhythm, but we came back and had a good weekend at Kansas. That's what we needed to do. Saturday night we kept after it. We weren't where we wanted to be to start out, but we got there. That's what we need to keep doing. You just never know what can happen going into a place like Martinsville. A lot can happen that's somewhat out of your control. I'll tell you what though, this team is awesome. We've put ourselves in the top-20 now, and we just have to keep it up."


"I'm really proud of both teams. We've struggled at Charlotte a good bit and that's a place that's special to me. Bill ran great all night and Jeremy ran great all night too. It's unfortunate that he was so far back in the field - and we're going to work on qualifying - but the point is that he ran top-five to top-10 times all night. I knew if we could go to Charlotte and have a good run that our recent performance wouldn't be a fluke. I feel really good about where we are right now as a race team. I'm really proud of everyone from the engine shop to the car shop to the drivers, just everyone involved in this organization."


* This weekend Jeremy Mayfield will be driving chassis No. 2. The chassis is one of the first Dodges in the Evernham Motorsports fleet, but has not been in race conditions since the 2001 season.

* Mayfield tested at Phoenix International Raceway prior to the Martinsville race weekend



* This weekend's race marks Mayfield's 305th career start in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 17th career visit to Martinsville Speedway. Mayfield has one top-five and four top-10 finishes at the track. He has finished seventh at Martinsville three times (spring races of '97, '98 and 2000).


* Mayfield's best finish at Martinsville came in April of 1996 when he moved up from a 16th place start to finish fourth. The finish was a career-high for Mayfield, coming in his third start at Martinsville, and was the second top-five finish of his career (he had finished fifth at Atlanta six weeks earlier). He earned his best start at Martinsville in April of 2001, starting sixth.


* Mayfield's third-place finish at Kansas marked his third top-five and ninth top-10 of 2003. The finish was the third top-three in a span of five races for Mayfield. He earned two top-fives and four top-10s in 36 races last season.


* After his top-15 run at Charlotte, Mayfield gains a spot in the Winston Cup drivers' points, cracking the top 20 for the first time since the Daytona 500. He is currently 20th, 31 points out of the next spot and 291 points out of the top-15.


* In this year's Virginia 500 at Martinsville, Mayfield battled for track position throughout most of the day, attempting to maneuver through the difficult to pass confines of Martinsville Speedway. He had moved up from 23rd to 16th place by lap 90, but Mayfield lost power steering early on and was battling to hold on to his Dodge. To his credit, Mayfield managed to maintain his track position until he was forced to come in and fix the problem on lap 273. The Dew Crew worked fast and was able to finish the work with only two laps lost. Damage to Mayfield's grill on lap 317 brought Mayfield to the garage for repairs. The Dew Crew once again worked to replace the damaged part, but Mayfield's Dodge was beyond repair. He was forced to retire in 40th place.


* Persistence and patience best characterized the quality of Mayfield's and the Dew Crew's performance Saturday evening at Charlotte. Despite a 32nd place starting position and limited practice time, Mayfield managed to communicate what he needed throughout the course of the race. Kenny Francis and the Dew Crew did everything they needed to, giving Mayfield a Dodge capable of making a run toward the front. Their persistence paid off through effective communication and Francis used wedge, trackbar and air pressure adjustments to improve the handling of Mayfield's Dodge. The team patiently worked with Mayfield and three-quarters of the way through the race, Mayfield radioed that his Dodge was "the best it's been all night." The adjustment calls paid off and Mayfield was able to move through the field. He moved up 20 spots from his starting position to finish 12th. The Dew Crew's momentum continues to build as Mayfield's finish added another top-15 to the team's resume. They have seven top-15 finishes in eight races and five of those finishes are top-10s and three of them are top fives.


* Coming into the 2003 Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Mayfield has made 304 starts, with seven poles (three at Talladega and one at Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas), three wins (two at Pocono, and one at California), 38 top-fives and 71 top-10s. His most recent win came at Pocono in June of 2000. He earned his most recent pole, and his first pole for Evernham Motorsports at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega on April 6th.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield