Winston: Jeremy Mayfield preview

Jeremy Mayfield No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid DEFENDING WIN FROM POLE IN 2002 WINSTON OPEN "I feel really good about this weekend. I've run well in Charlotte in the past, and we had a good test there a couple weeks ago. We even got...

Jeremy Mayfield
No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid

DEFENDING WIN FROM POLE IN 2002 WINSTON OPEN

"I feel really good about this weekend. I've run well in Charlotte in the past, and we had a good test there a couple weeks ago. We even got to test in a Dodge Ram last week, so I really feel like we're ready for it. We're a better race team than what we've showed all year, so I feel like we really deserve to be in The Winston and we're going to do everything in our power to get there again."

TACKLING THE NEW WINSTON OPEN FORMAT

"Of course it used to be that just The Winston was like that, but Humpy (Wheeler) and Bruton (Smith) and those guys decided to really give the fans a show when they announced the changes to The Winston Open. You're going to see a lot of guys with a lot of different strategies out there this weekend. With a 20-lap segment and then a 10-lap shootout, it's going to be an all-out race. I can tell you right now that we're not going to back down from anybody."

HAVING AN ALL-STAR WEEKEND IN CHARLOTTE

"I think this race will stay in Charlotte. That's what it's all about. If you move it somewhere else I don't think it will seem like The Winston anymore. It'll just be different. Heck, I love it here. I've had some exciting runs in The Winston in the past, and I want to go out there and win the thing."

RUNNING 1ST CAREER NCTS RACE

"We were posting some good times testing a Dodge Ram (at Charlotte) for Ultra Motorsports last week, and I said to the guys, 'Man, you're going to have a hard time keeping me out of this thing.' It got some of their guys excited, and it got me excited. So when Jim Smith asked if I'd be interested in running the truck in this weekend's race, I was really pumped to do it. It's just another example of the relationships that the Dodge teams have with one another. All of the Dodges are one big team here. This is a win-win situation, and hopefully we can put this Dodge Ram up front for everybody involved."

RACE NOTES

For the Winston Open, Mayfield will be driving chassis No. 06, which he ran at Darlington this year as well as Charlotte (a), Kansas and New Hampshire (a) in 2002. His best finish in this car is ninth place, which he earned in last year's race at Kansas.

STATS & FACTS

2002 WINSTON OPEN VICTORY

* Mayfield will be the man to watch in this year's Winston Open after leading all 30 laps in last year's non-points event, winning the race from the pole for the second time in his career. Mayfield became only the third driver to win multiple Winston Opens (S. Marlin - 3, M. Waltrip - 2). The victory placed him in the 2002 all-star event, The Winston, for the fifth consecutive year.

CAREER IN THE WINSTON OPEN

* Mayfield has made six Winston Open appearances dating back to 1994. In 1999, 2000 and 2001 he was ineligible for this event since he was competing in The Winston during Charlotte's Speedweeks. Mayfield has two wins, two poles, two top-fives and two top-10s in the event - all earned in his last two starts (1998 and 2002).

CAREER IN THE WINSTON

* Mayfield has made five consecutive starts in The Winston All-Star Event dating back to his first appearance in 1998. He has made The Winston lineup twice by winning the Winston Open (1998, 2002). His first career victory in the 1998 Pocono 500 made him eligible for the 1999 race, and his 2000 victory at California qualified him for the 2000 and 2001 Winston races. Mayfield earned his best Winston finish in 1999 scoring his sole top-five/top-10 finish, ending the race in fifth.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Jim Smith