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The Callahan Report: Mayfield Gets Second Career Pole

4 April 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel
Jeremy Mayfield
Jeremy Mayfield
FORT WORTH, TX: Jeremy Mayfield has been a solid performer ever since he started racing in NASCAR's Winston Cup series. He is on the verge of crossing the line from good to great.

While many of the NASCAR regulars had trouble navigating the Texas Motor Speedway, Mayfield was fast as soon as his Ford Taurus came off the truck. Many of the NASCAR drivers expressed thier opinions of the track conditions. Mayfield kept quiet, with his eyes focused on the task at hand. He was there to drive a race car on a track that was the same for everyone.

Mayfield's concentration paid off. He is on the pole for the second annual Texas 500. Mayfield said, "I didn't know if we could run that quick." He qualified with a speed of 185.906 mph. He was more than one mph faster than his next closest competitor.

"Because I'm going good, I'm going to say the track conditions are perfect,'' Mayfield said. "There are a couple of places on the race track that have some bumps, but a lot of racetracks have bumps. It's just something you have to overcome."

Track position at this track is very important. The track has limited passing areas. "I feel like I've already passed 42 cars,'' said Mayfield.

Mayfield has one other pole to his credit. He started from the pole in Talladega in 1996. The Texas race will be Mayfield's 117th career start.

Qualifying was postponed till this morning. There was water seeping through the asphalt in turn one during the late afternoon yesterday. After a series of crashes, NASCAR officials postponed qualifying.

Joe Nemecheck will start second in the Bell South Monte Carlo. He is followed by Ward Burton's Pontiac. Kenny Irwin Jr., driving the second fastest Ford, will start fourth.

Starting lineup for the Texas 500 with starting position, (car number), driver, hometown, car, and qualifying speed:

1. (12) Jeremy Mayfield, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 185.906.
2. (42) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet, 184.875.
3. (22) Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac, 184.862.
4. (28) Kenny Irwin, Indianapolis, Ford, 184.622.
5. (97) Chad Little, Spokane, Wash., Ford, 184.477.
6. (2) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 184.326.
7. (6) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford, 184.193.
8. (77) Robert Pressley, Asheboro, N.C., Ford, 184.187.
9. (96) David Green, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet, 184.156.
10. (78) Gary Bradberry, Chelsea, Ala., Ford, 184.143.
11. (18) Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac, 183.986.
12. (31) Mike Skinner, Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet, 183.811.
13. (88) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford, 183.773.
14. (75) Rick Mast, Rockbridge Baths, Va., Ford, 183.705.
15. (43) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Pontiac, 183.680.
16. (91) Kevin LePage, Shelbourne, Vt., Chevrolet, 183.530.
17. (24) Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet, 183.362.
18. (11) Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 183.324.
19. (36) Ernie Irvan, Salinas, Calif., Pontiac, 183.187.
20. (10) Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Ford, 183.094.
21. (40) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet, 183.051.
22. (46) Wally Dallenbach Jr., Basalt, Colo., Chevrolet, 182.970.
23. (99) Jeff Burton, South Boston, Va., Ford, 182.840.
24. (50) Randy LaJoie, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 182.840.
25. (4) Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Chevrolet, 182.692.
26. (44) Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac, 182.679.
27. (26) Johnny Benson, Grand Rapids, Mich., Ford, 182.611.
28. (98) Greg Sacks, Mattituck, N.Y., Ford, 182.488.
29. (7) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 182.420.
30. (16) Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Ford, 182.334.
31. (81) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 181.916.
32. (33) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet, 181.892.
33. (8) Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Ford, 181.818.
34. (3) Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 181.708.
35. (17) Darrell Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet, 181.354
36. (71) Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet, 181.026.
37. (5) Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevrolet, provisional.
38. (94) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford, provisional.
39. (23) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford, provisional.
40. (21) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, provisional.
41. (90) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Ford, provisional.
42. (41) Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, provisional.
43. (9) Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Ford, provisional.

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