Jeremy Mayfield has revealed plans to make a return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2009 as owner/driver of his own Mayfield Motorsports team.
Mayfield, who hasn't competed in a full-season in the Sprint Cup since 2005 after a well-documented split with Evernham Motorsports, will enter the #41 Toyota into the series with primary sponsorship coming from sports drink All Sport. Gary Smith, chairman and CEO of All Sport owners Big Red Inc. will also co-own the team alongside Mayfield.
“Team ownership is something I've always wanted to pursue,” Mayfield explained. “Things have really fallen into place this year with the NASCAR rule changes – the ban on testing – and with All Sport coming on board as a partner. I never could have done this without all the right people.
“We've been watching and hearing the same things [about teams starting up sponsorless]; so for us to come out and announce our deal with a sponsor is just unbelievable. That's something I'm pretty proud of right now. Not only do we have a sponsor signed and ready to go, it's a credible sponsor that has a product a lot of people have already heard of.”
Mayfield has purchased five former Bill Davis Racing cars from Triad Racing Technologies for the season ahead with Triad supplying engines for the season ahead. Veteran crew chief Tony Furr is also on board as is former Roush Racing car chief Steve McCain.
“I feel like, in the short amount of time we've been working on this, we're better than a lot of other teams already are,” Mayfield continued, “and with more hopefully coming – and they're all good. Our whole deal is to get into the top 35 and stay there.
“I really feel like it couldn't have been a better time for us to do this. And I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have all the right people in place, though it seems like its all fallen perfectly into place. If you're in the right place at the right time and everything feels right, you just do it.”
Partner Smith meanwhile said he was excited by the new venture.
“We are excited to continue our involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series by teaming up with Mayfield Motorsports to sponsor the #41 All Sport Toyota,” he said, referring to a deal with Yates Racing in 2008. “All Sport has been a key partner in many auto racing sponsorships in the past, and as a result, our plan is to capture the thrill of racing through in-store programs designed to get consumers excited about our connection to motorsports.”