Ray Evernham cleared the air about Jeremy Mayfield's situation this morning at Watkins-Glen with one simple statement, "he's been terminated." Mayfield said last weekend at Indianapolis that "he doubted" he'd be in the car next season and on ...
Ray Evernham cleared the air about Jeremy Mayfield's situation this morning at Watkins-Glen with one simple statement, "he's been terminated."
Mayfield said last weekend at Indianapolis that "he doubted" he'd be in the car next season and on Tuesday Evernham Motorsports announced that Bill Elliott would drive the road course race this weekend since the team had fallen out of the top-35 in owner's points and Elliott was guaranteed a spot in the field (past champions provisional). On Tuesday, however, the team would not confirm that Mayfield had been released for the rest of the season, that is until this weekend.
"When performance is not up to par there's always frustration on both sides," Evernham said. "But the decision was primarily made based on the performance of the car and not being able to get that any better. In fact, it was getting worse.
"Certainly, there are frustrations and we weren't pleased with a lot of the comments that were made. But I can tell you from my side that we put every effort possible into the 19."
Elliott Sadler who announced earlier this season that he would not be returning to Robert Yates Racing and the No. 38 M&M's Ford team is expected to move to the No. 19 Evernham Dodge as early as next week's race in Michigan.
"We haven't announced what we're doing this year, but if that (Mayfield's firing) has happened, as far as that seat being open and that's a possibility, I think we need to talk about that," said Sadler Friday. "Getting in sooner rather than later might be a good thing. It's something we have not discussed yet, but I don't think that's a bad idea, if it's available.
"I haven't talked to Ray about any of those circumstances but I have talked to him some about next year, but have not really come to a final agreement. Now I guess we might have to speed things up a little bit.
"As far as Ray as person, I've enjoyed talking to him the past few months. As far as the organization, they seem to run very well with the first year team he's got. Kasey Kahne seems to be competitive each and every week. I think Kenny Francis and his guys are doing a great job. I think where they've come the past five or six years, they are right there trying to keep up with powerhouse teams that have been in this sport 15 to 30 years. I like some of the things they are trying to do for the future. I think it's a great organization.
"I want to do what is good for the organization I am with now," Sadler continued. "So if they have a driver coming in who doesn't have the experience he needs, and they need me to move out so that guy can move in, I want to do that. I want to do whatever they need me to. Those guys have been good to me. I want to be able to help them out the best way I can."
Mayfield and Sadler have both been mired in slumps this season. Mayfield has no top ten's, sits 34th in points and hasn't won a race since 2005. Sadler has four top ten's, sits 22nd in points and hasn't won a race since 2004.
David Gilliland is rumored to be taking over the No. 38 RYR Ford next season, he could not run more than seven races in that car this year if he wants to keep his rookie status for next season.
Bill Elliott is not able to run the full schedule for Evernham in the No. 19 this year because of prior commitments to Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Incorporated to compete in several events.