Rockingham II: Jeremy Mayfield preview

ROCKINGHAM "You've got to get to the bottom at Rockingham and have good grip and good forward bite. The main thing, though, is you've got to have a good handling racecar. It's almost more than anywhere else we go - kind of along the lines of a...


"You've got to get to the bottom at Rockingham and have good grip and good forward bite. The main thing, though, is you've got to have a good handling racecar. It's almost more than anywhere else we go - kind of along the lines of a Darlington or Charlotte. You've definitely got to have a good balanced car all day. Tires will be a factor too, so pit stops will be important - who can get on and off pit road fast because we all know how important track position is these days."


Evernham Motorsports will field the No. 79 Mountain Dew Dodge in the Busch Series at Rockingham. Mayfield will drive the entry and Sammy Johns will serve as crew chief. In addition to Mountain Dew, Dodge, Ingersoll-Rand, Cometic Gaskets, Action Performance, Freightliner, Siemens, Valvoline, and PPG will serve as associate sponsors on the No. 79 Dodge. The entry is the first for Evernham Motorsports in the Busch Series.


"I think it's going to be fun. I think it's going to help us as far as our Cup deal, but the main thing is to go out and try to win the race. It's going to be cool to go out and run with no pressure and hang with all the guys in the Busch Series. You know we always watch them on Saturday, and it's going to be cool to run with them this time."


"I think it helps you if you do like we're doing. It's our style of car. It's our guys. Kenny (Francis, team director) and Josh (Browne, team engineer) are working on the deal too so it gives us a chance to apply some of that stuff that may work on the Cup car."


"I think it's important for our team to be a part of that. I know our guys are really looking forward to being in it for the first time this year. I know they'll go out and give it everything they've got. It'll be good for them to go out there and put on their show in front of everybody and let them shine. I'm just glad they're in it and glad to be a part of it."


Jeremy Mayfield is scheduled to drive chassis No. 57, which is a brand new Evernham Motorsports chassis.

The No. 19 Dew Crew will participate in the Union 76/Rockingham World Pit Crew Challenge for the first time.

In his 17 NASCAR Winston Cup Series appearances at North Carolina Speedway Jeremy Mayfield has one top-five, three top-10s and one pole position. He has led in four Rockingham races for a total of 214 laps led at the track. In the fall race of 2000, Mayfield led the most laps on the day, sitting in front for 169 of 393 laps.


Mayfield made his first Rockingham start in the Oct. 23, 1994, AC Delco 500 when he started 39th and finished 19th. His best finish at the track came in the spring race of 1999, where he started fourth and finished fifth in the Dura Lube/Big Kmart 400.


Mayfield earned his only pole position at "the Rock" in the Oct. 20, 2000, Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400. The pole was the sixth of Mayfield's career. He finished 29th in the race.


Mayfield's seventh place finish at Atlanta was his 10th top-10 of the 2003 season. Mayfield has earned 10 or more top-10 finishes in a season on three other occasions (1998 to 2000 -- 16, 12, 12, respectively). Mayfield's third-place finish at Kansas marked his third top-five of the year, and was his third top-three in a span of five races. Last season, Mayfield earned two top-fives and four top-10s in 36 races.


Following an unfortunate incident at Phoenix, Mayfield drops one spot in the Winston Cup points race. He currently sits 20th, just 66 points out of the next spot and 97 points out of the 18th position.

ROCKINGHAM RACE NOTES EVENT START FINISH STATUS LAPS LED NOTES 2002 Subway 400 21 29 Running - Battled substantial damage to his Dodge 2002 Pop Secret Popcorn 400 17 21 Running - Forced to pit late in race for fuel 2003 Subway 400 29 41 Accident - Retired due to damage


In this year's Subway 400, Mayfield started the race in the 29th spot, but just 10 laps into the race he reported to team director Kenny Francis that his No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge was already running extremely tight off the corners. Mayfield would hold his position through the first round of pit stops as his car began to free up a little bit thanks to air pressure and spring rubber adjustments from the Dew Crew. About 70 laps and two cautions later, Mayfield was caught up in an incident with two spinning cars, leaving substantial damage to the left side of his No. 19 Dodge, especially the left-rear fender. As the Dew Crew gave Mayfield his fifth set of Goodyear tires and pulled sheet metal off of the left rear tire, jackman Ed Watkins was struck by a competitor's car and was forced to leave the race early for an examination of his leg. Mayfield resumed the race running in the 38th spot. At the half-point, Mayfield reported that he was extremely tight again and that adjustments to the car were not helping him get off the corners fast enough. On lap 276 Mayfield was caught up by a spinning No. 8 car, and made hard contact with the wall in turn two. The No. 19 Dodge was pulled into the garage and the Dew Crew determined that the rear end was too damaged to return to the race. Mayfield was uninjured, but he was forced to retire in the 41st spot.


Last weekend at Phoenix, Jeremy Mayfield started just in front of his teammate Bill Elliott in 16th place. Mayfield started out with a promising run, battling with the top-15 cars for position early in the race. However, engine trouble 32 laps into the race forced him to retire his No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in the 43rd spot. Evernham Engines is working to determine the source and solution to the problem.


Coming into the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway, Mayfield has made 307 starts, with seven poles (three at Talladega and one at Darlington, Dover, Rockingham, and Texas), three wins (two at Pocono, and one at California), 38 top-fives and 72 top-10s. His most recent win came at Pocono in June of 2000. He earned his most recent pole, and his first pole for Evernham Motorsports at the Aaron's 499 at Talladega on April 6th.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeremy Mayfield