Michigan: Jeremy Mayfield preview

JEREMY MAYFIELD QUOTES "There is a lot of room to race at Michigan, so you have to have a really good car to win there. It's one of those tracks where you just have to have the total package going into the race. "Plus, this team is...

JEREMY MAYFIELD QUOTES

"There is a lot of room to race at Michigan, so you have to have a really good car to win there. It's one of those tracks where you just have to have the total package going into the race.

"Plus, this team is really pumped up, and they deserve to be. All along our communication has been improving. When I talk to them about how the car's handling and ask them for stuff on race day, they're able to give it to me. And it works both ways, too. We're able to make the decisions that we need together, and that just continues to help us build confidence. When I can rely on them like that, I can focus more on my lines, and getting a better lap -- all the details that a driver needs to worry about.

"I feel like not only am I back to where I was, but I'm even better now. It's just going to take time to tell, but I really feel confident that this is going to be the best part of my career here."

STATS & FACTS

JEREMY MAYFIELD AT MICHIGAN

*         Mayfield has made 20 starts at Michigan with two top fives and
three top 10s at the track.  He has led three Michigan races for 88 laps.

MICHIGAN HIGHS

* Mayfield's best finish at Michigan Int'l Speedway is fourth, which he earned in the 2001 Kmart 400, starting from the ninth starting position. Mayfield's best start at the racetrack is fifth, where he began the 1999 Pepsi 400.

MAYFIELD BEGINS 2004 SEASON IN HIGH GEAR

* After 14 races, Mayfield's average finish (15.93) is more than 10 spots ahead of what it was at this point last year. Mayfield has also earned 483 more points, and ranks 21 positions higher in the points standings than he did heading into last year's spring race at Michigan. Mayfield is riding a streak of three consecutive top 10s entering this weekend's race (eighth at Charlotte, eighth at Dover, second at Pocono).

ADDING UP THE POINTS

* After finishing second at Pocono, Mayfield moves to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points standings. He is just two points out of the top 10, and 182 points out of fifth place.

EVERNHAM DODGES TO BE "FUELED BY DEW"

* Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne and Evernham Motorsports will unveil their "Fueled by Dew Dodges," the special Mountain Dew paint schemes for the No. 9 that Kasey will race in the DHL 400 on June 20 at Michigan International Speedway, and the No. 19 that Jeremy will race at the last Mountain Dew Southern 500 on November 14 at Darlington Raceway. The unveiling will take place this Friday, June18, at 9:30 a.m. at garage #1 in Michigan Int'l Speedway.

LAST WEEKEND AT POCONO

* Mayfield started seventh and reported that his Dodge was feeling as good as it had all day by lap 79 when he cracked into the top-three. However, as Mayfield approached his pit stall midway through the race the No. 16 team tire carrier lost control of a tire, allowing it to collide with and damage the left-front fender of Mayfield's Dodge, which required repairs. With about 40 laps remaining, Mayfield encouraged the team to gamble on fuel with about and let him draw out the last drops of gas in his Dodge and go the distance without returning to pit road. As most of the field returned to fuel up later in the race, Mayfield assumed the lead spot. The final 28 laps in the race set up a duel between Mayfield's Dodge and the No. 48 car of Jimmie Johnson, who employed a similar fuel strategy. The No. 48 car got a quick run on Mayfield's Dodge, overtaking the lead spot before a series of four more cautions broke up the final laps of the race. Mayfield benefited from the yellow flag laps, which allowed him to conserve just enough fuel to finish running; however, he needed more time to unseat the lead car. The race ended under caution with Mayfield running second.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne