Mayfield Darlington II qualifying press conference

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "First of all, I felt like we had a good lap. We had a good practice session and was first there. We knew if we could just go back and repeat what we did in practice we would be okay. I...

JEREMY MAYFIELD --12-- Mobil 1 Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"First of all, I felt like we had a good lap. We had a good practice session and was first there. We knew if we could just go back and repeat what we did in practice we would be okay. I knew the guy I had to worry about was right here next to me (Jeff Gordon). He was dead last in the qualifying order and I knew it was gonna be pretty tough. I knew Kurt was third in practice, so he was gonna be good. We just got beat by a little bit, but I'm happy to be up front in the top five. Anytime you can qualify in the top 10 in the Cup series you've done something. That's a great starting spot for Sunday. We're just looking forward to it. We always seem to race pretty good here and, hopefully, we'll have a good run."

WHAT MAKES YOU GOOD AT THIS TRACK TIME AFTER TIME?

"For one, in the race the tires go away pretty quick and you've just got to be patient and not overdrive it. I feel like this is a place you can definitely overdrive and get yourself in trouble. You've just got to find the line every lap and make sure you're right on the edge but not over the edge. I also like was Jeff said about the tracks that we've raced up in the past coming up in this sport -- in the Late Model days. For him, the sprint cars like Winchester, Indiana and Salem and all of those places. I raced some ARCA cars there the same way where you go right up against the wall just like here. I have to say that Cale Yarborough helped me a lot too.

"When I was with Cale he brought me down here and gave me some pointers. Donnie Allison and a lot of the guys that raced here forever gave me some good hints."

HOW DO YOU BALANCE BEING IN THE LEAD AND SAVING THE TIRES?

"I'm gonna let Jeff answer that because I haven't found that yet. We've run in the top five, but we haven't won yet. We should have and that's a great question because there are times that you get behind a little bit in the pits or something and you try to make it all up, and you burn your tires up getting there. This is a race where you'll see guys lead for a while and then they'll fall back, and more will come through that are better on long runs. There's definitely a good balance there."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE OVERDUE HERE?

"Definitely overdue. I think we're overdue not just for here but for the whole year with the way our year has been. We've had a pretty weird season again and just can't seem to really hit on anything right now and get where we need to be, but Darlington definitely owes us one and, hopefully, we can come here and turn our year around and finish the year out with at least a win here anyway. That would definitely build our momentum for the rest of the season, but I would definitely like to win here."

YOU'VE BEEN UP AND DOWN. CAN YOU DISCUSS THAT?

"I don't really know and I'd probably be better off not saying anything. It's just been a weird couple of years. I look at Rusty's record and his isn't too consistent either. For some reason, neither one of the race teams can get our consistency built up to where it needs to be. I'm not sure why. I've got some ideas, but that would just be guessing so I just better leave that alone."

HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO HAVE A GOOD CAR AND HAVE SOMETHING FLUKY HAPPENS?

"That's very frustrating. When you look at it and look back at all the things that has happened to our car and our race team, it's things that are a fluke and kind of weird and things that just don't happen to other race teams. Nothing against Jeff and them, but you never see that stuff happen to the 24 car or the 88 or the 28. There are a lot of cars that just don't have the problems that we have and I don't understand it either. It is frustrating on the whole race team because once you start having problems and you start getting yourself behind in this sport, it's pretty tough to get back where you need to be and that creates other problems along the way."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Donnie Allison , Cale Yarborough