Mayfield on pole at 'Monster Mile'

Jeremy Mayfield scored the Budweiser pole award for the second race in the NEXTEL 'Chase for the Championship' at Dover International Raceway with a lap of 159.405 mph. It was a great rebound for the No. 19 Dodge, which was swept up in an...

Jeremy Mayfield scored the Budweiser pole award for the second race in the NEXTEL 'Chase for the Championship' at Dover International Raceway with a lap of 159.405 mph. It was a great rebound for the No. 19 Dodge, which was swept up in an accident with Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Robby Gordon last weekend at New Hampshire.

"These guys really did a good job," said Mayfield. "We are in crunch time and we have to make something happen. Sometimes you have to grab life by the horns, that what's they say with Dodge, and that's what we are going to do this weekend."

The poor finish for the No. 19 placed him 10th in the 'chase', 142 points shy of leader Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Mayfield and Team 19 look to make up valuable points this weekend, and are off to the right start grabbing their second pole of the season, the first of which also came at Dover in June.

"I feel real confident," Mayfield continued. "This is one of my favorite race tracks. We do well at times; it has been a great place for us. Our confidence is very high, I feel like we can win the race. We just need to stay out of trouble and be there at the end."

"I look forward to it, I think it's going to be a great race."

It is Mayfield's ninth career pole award.

Ryan Newman earned the outside pole position with a lap of 159.018 mph. Newman sits ninth in 'chase' standings, trailing first place by 136 spots. It's also an important point's weekend for Newman, who experienced problems of his own in New Hampshire.

Newman had a strong top ten run going at NHIS, when late in the race he lost an engine on the No. 12 Dodge and was relegated to a 33rd place result.

"I don't think we are working any harder than normal," said Newman. "What happened last week happened we just have to try and move on and get what we can."

Rookie Brian Vickers rebounded from a morning practice crash to place the No. 25 Chevy in third place with a lap of 158.346 mph.

"We didn't get to qualify the car we tested," said Vickers. "But we got the back-up car out and switched engines, and we got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. We went out and got a solid starting spot, and that's all we can ask in the spot we were in."

Elliott Sadler, currently in sixth place in the 'chase' standings, will roll his No. 38 Ford off the grid in fourth spot.

"I can't say enough about my guys," Sadler said. "They keep putting me in better and better cars every weekend. I am so excited to be in this 'chase for the championship'. I feel really good about this weekend."

Michael Waltrip completes the top five.

"I'm happy with the NAPA team," Waltrip said. "It's a great car they brought here. It's the one we raced at Bristol and ran real well with. We should be good in race trim tomorrow morning."

Qualifying was slowed once by an accident involving the No. 5 Chevy of Terry Labonte. Labonte lost it in turns 1 and 2 smacking the outside retaining wall. Labonte was uninjured but on track activity was delayed for about fifteen minutes while clean-up efforts were performed.

"I guess I should have taken one lap out there," commented Labonte. "My car was a little bit loose and I tried to go out quicker in the second lap and it just got away from me. It's too bad. We'll just have to get the back up car and try to get ready for the race."

Fifty-drivers attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field, among those failing to make the race were Hermie Sadler and Derrike Cope.

The rest of the championship contenders qualified as follows: Jeff Gordon (21st), Jimmie Johnson (9th), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (16th), Kyle Busch (13th), Tony Stewart (23rd), Matt Kenseth (8th), and Mark Martin (12th).

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Derrike Cope , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Hermie Sadler , Brian Vickers , Elliott Sadler , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin