Mayfield steps up to the plate at ‘The Rock’

Jeremy Mayfield took pole in the all-important first qualifying session for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Rockingham's North Carolina Speedway

Mayfield steps up to the plate at ‘The Rock’

Driving the Mobil 1 Ford Taurus with a special paint scheme honoring Major League Baseball and the World Series, Mayfield scored a home run with his qualifying lap around the 1.017-mile speedway in 23.269 seconds (157.342mph) to capture his sixth series career Bud Pole, and bump current points leader Bobby Labonte's Pontiac to the outside of the front row for Sunday's Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400.

Mayfield's quick time was not a record run and thus his Penske South team mate, Rusty Wallace, still holds the honor with his lap of 23.167s (158.035mph) set at last February's Winston Cup date at the track.

"This is great, especially for Mobil 1 and Major League Baseball and the World Series," said Mayfield. "We came here and felt like we had a good car, a good engine from Penske engines and came off the truck really good and strong. I'm pretty happy with it. It's one of those days where everything went right for us. I went out and did my job and didn't get into the corners too hard, so it worked out for us."

Labonte's second-fastest qualifying lap of 23.283s (157.248mph) assured him a front row seat. Following Labonte are Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott and Mark Martin. Rounding out the top-10 in first round qualifying were Jeff Burton, Joe Nemechek, Mike Skinner, Ward Burton and Kenny Wallace.

Goodyear brought a brand new tire for this annual autumn event and so far it's receiving good reviews. Both Mayfield and Gordon compare it to Darlington. Most drivers believe the new combination will provide more wear.

"It has an identical construction to the tire we raced at Rockingham in the spring," said Tony Freund, Goodyear's lead engineer for stock car tire development, "but with a tougher tread compound for improved wear and lap-time consistency. The left side tire is the same tire that we raced at Darlington in September."

Some of the drivers who missed the magic top-25 on Friday were Dale Earnhardt, Matt Kenseth, Darrell Waltrip, Jimmy Spencer, John Andretti and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The rest of the 43-car field will be based on Saturday's second round qualifying and provisional slots.


North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, NC
October 20, 2000


1 12 Jeremy Mayfield Ford 23.269 157.342
2 18 Bobby Labonte Pont 23.283 157.248
3 24 Jeff Gordon Chev 23.364 156.703
4 94 Bill Elliott Ford 23.364 156.703
5 6 Mark Martin Ford 23.399 156.468
6 99 Jeff Burton Ford 23.412 156.381
7 33 Joe Nemechek Chev 23.423 156.308
8 31 Mike Skinner Chev 23.434 156.235
9 22 Ward Burton Pont 23.441 156.188
10 55 Kenny Wallace Chev 23.449 156.135
11 14 Rick Mast Pont 23.449 156.135
12 25 Jerry Nadeau Chev 23.460 156.061
13 28 Ricky Rudd Ford 23.469 156.002
14 10 Johnny Benson Pont 23.472 155.982
15 2 Rusty Wallace Ford 23.473 155.975
16 16 Kevin Lepage Ford 23.498 155.809
17 1 Steve Park Chev 23.511 155.723
18 20 Tony Stewart Pont 23.516 155.690
19 36 Ken Schrader Pont 23.538 155.544
20 7 Michael Waltrip Chev 23.557 155.419
21 88 Dale Jarrett Ford 23.565 155.366
22 93 Dave Blaney Pont 23.573 155.313
23 40 Sterling Marlin Chev 23.590 155.201
24 97 Kurt Busch Ford 23.592 155.188
25 11 Brett Bodine Ford 23.592 155.188


26 77 Robert Pressley Ford 23.596 155.162
27 3 Dale Earnhardt Chev 23.607 155.090
28 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 23.640 154.873
29 50 Ricky Craven Chev 23.659 154.749
30 96 Andy Houston Ford 23.679 154.618
31 66 Darrell Waltrip Ford 23.693 154.527
32 5 Terry Labonte Chev 23.695 154.514
33 75 Wally Dallenbach Ford 23.711 154.409
34 26 Jimmy Spencer Ford 23.713 154.396
35 4 Bobby Hamilton Chev 23.720 154.351
36 32 Scott Pruett Ford 23.746 154.182
37 01 Ted Musgrave Chev 23.758 154.104
38 43 John Andretti Pont 23.762 154.078
39 21 Elliott Sadler Ford 23.766 154.052
40 13 Robby Gordon Ford 23.785 153.929
41 27 Mike Bliss Pont 23.811 153.761
42 9 Stacy Compton Ford 23.819 153.709
43 44 Steve Grissom Pont 23.841 153.567
44 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chev 23.890 153.252
45 90 Hut Stricklin Ford 24.080 152.043
46 85 Carl Long Ford 24.102 151.904
47 71 Dave Marcis Chev 24.120 151.791


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