Owensboro, Kentucky , United States
|| May 27, 1969
|Last Modifed||Thomas Walker|
Jan 13, 2004 05:29pm
Jeremy Mayfield first raced at the age of four in the backyard of his grandmother's house. An eager young Mayfield ground an oval into the yard running laps on his motorcycle.
By age 10, Mayfield was racing for real, tooling BMX bikes at a local track in his hometown of Owensboro, Ky. After that, Mayfield assaulted the go-kart scene, sometimes racing up to three nights a week in whatever class he could find.
From go-karts, Mayfield hit the street stock division at Kentucky Motor Speedway. When his car was impounded due to his numerous victories (a rule of the division), Mayfield started Late Model racing, occasionally making the trip to run at Nashville. To help make ends meet, he painted the signs at the track and even painted numbers on racecars.
Mayfield finally moved to Nashville at age 19, where he went to work as a fabricator at Sadler Racing. His determination eventually paid dividends, as six months into the job, the Sadlers gave Mayfield a Late Model car to race.
In 1987, Mayfield moved to the ARCA Series where he finished the season with eight top-five and ten top-10 finishes. When he also earned Rookie of the Year honors from Kentucky Motor Speedway, several in the Cup community began to take notice.
The following year, Earl Sadler agreed to back Mayfield in four Cup attempts. He made his debut on Oct. 10, 1993, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He finished 10 laps down in 29th position.
Nonetheless, Cale Yarborough came calling at the end of the season, and Mayfield made the jump to full time Cup racing with Yarborough in 1995. He finished 31st in points that season, with one top-10 finish in 27 starts.
The next season, Mayfield garnered a pair of top-five finishes before being released late in the year. He went to race for Michael Kranefuss for two years with minimal success before latching on with Penske Racing late in the 2000 season.
In 2001, Ray Evernham picked the charismatic and speedy Mayfield to pilot his No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge.
When not at the racetrack, Mayfield enjoys action movies and to "get away, whatever that means."