Mayfield fastest at the Monster Mile

Jeremy Mayfield was the speediest driver during time trial attempts for the NEXTEL Cup series at Dover. Mayfield, in the No. 19 Evernham Dodge, paced the field by almost one mile-per-hour, posting a lap of 161.522. "They give me great cars," ...

Jeremy Mayfield was the speediest driver during time trial attempts for the NEXTEL Cup series at Dover. Mayfield, in the No. 19 Evernham Dodge, paced the field by almost one mile-per-hour, posting a lap of 161.522.

"They give me great cars," Mayfield said. "You can't say enough about how far this team has come along. We just keep getting better and better and that says a lot about Ray Evernham. He put this deal together and worked real hard to get it where it is.

"We feel like we are just getting started. I'm real excited about the future with this team. All we need now is a couple more poles and some wins and we're going to be in good shape."

It is Mayfield's eighth career pole, and first of this season.

Ryan Newman, who has a series-high three poles this season, was second fastest, with a lap of 160.643 mph.

"We had a good car from the time we unloaded," Newman commented. "It's the same car we've gotten all three poles with this year.

"We know what its like to be in victory lane here, so we will get it set up for Sunday."

Rookie of the year candidate, Brian Vickers, grabbed third spot, posting a lap of 160.521 mph.

"Wow what a great effort by this team," said Vickers. "Our qualifying attempts just keep getting better and better. I think we are in really good shape for the rest of the season."

Rusty Wallace and Brendan Gaughan round out the top five, grabbing three of the top five starting spots for Penske Racing,

Only the top three cars bridged the 160 mph mark.

Qualifying for NEXTEL Cup teams was slowed three times, the first because of drizzle dampening the race track and the next because of on track incidents. Greg Biffle went out 8th, after the brief rain shower, and slapped the No.16 Ford into the wall in turn two. The damage was mainly cosmetic, and the Roush team felt they could make repairs and use the car in the race. Biffle will have to take a provisional and start 40th.

Michael Waltrip in the No. 15 Chevy also wrecked his primary car in practice. Waltrip had posted a top-five time when he took the track 10th. On his second lap, Waltrip lost control in turn two, ripping the entire rear end off the car. Team 15 will have to start from the rear in a back up car; they were set to roll off 8th.

Forty-nine cars were set to make qualifying attempts for the MBNA 400, but Carl Long and Kevin Ray were judged too slow in morning practice to be eligible to make an attempt. Of the forty-seven cars that took a time-trial lap, failing to make the forty-three car field were Hermie Sadler, Todd Bodine and Larry Gunselman.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Michael Waltrip , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Larry Gunselman , Hermie Sadler , Brendan Gaughan , Brian Vickers , Ray Evernham , Carl Long
Teams Team Penske