The twisting Infineon Raceway, which hosts the first of three road- course events on this year’s NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule, is one where David Mayhew spent much time early in his racing career.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends/KHI Chevrolet) has not had much chance to show his road-racing skills since coming into the NASCAR Camping World Series two years ago. He hopes to change that this season.
His first opportunity comes this week when the NASCAR Camping World Series West heads to Infineon Raceway for the Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts on Saturday, June 20. The race is a companion event as part of the big NASCAR weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Sonoma, Calif., road course.
The twisting track, which hosts the first of three road- course events on this year’s NASCAR Camping World Series West schedule, is one where Mayhew spent much time early in his racing career.
“I’ve run quite a bit at Sonoma,” said the 27-year-old California driver, who originally hailed from Atascadero, but now lives in Bakersfield. “I won a bunch of scholarships through karting to the Jim Russell School there. I ran the school series they have there for a year. We were there all the time, testing and such. So, I’ve got quite a bit of road-racing experience at Sonoma. I did a lot of Formula Ford and open-wheel stuff before I made the move to NASCAR. So, I’m looking forward to getting back up there and turning both ways.”
This will only be Mayhew’s second time to compete in a NASCAR Camping World Series West car at Infineon Raceway. The team he drove for in 2007 ran a limited schedule and did not enter the event. Last year, Mayhew qualified fourth and ran with the leaders early, but was sidelined by a mechanical problem.
He’s confident of being up front again this year. “We’re going up there to win the race and get as many points as possible,” Mayhew said. “Running against Jason (Bowles) and Eric (Holmes) every week, it seems like that’s the place you’ve got to win to gain any points on them. That’s our plan. With the background we have up there, turning left and right, I think we should do pretty well.”
Although Mayhew is driving for his third team in three years, the transition does not appear to have had a negative impact on his performance.
“You just go out there and whatever car you’re given, you’ve got to do the best you can,” he said. “You can’t control the situations that you’re put in. So, whatever comes along, that’s what we try to do and make the best of it.”
And Mayhew seems to be doing precisely that this year. He’s third in the championship standings – 64 points out of first – with one win, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in six races. Not bad for a team that did not plan on chasing points.
“We originally did the deal to just go have fun and run a few races here and there,” Mayhew said of car owner Steve McGowan and crew chief Terry Henry, who gets behind the wheel of a second car for some events. “Things started going real well. Steve’s got good cars and good equipment and Terry does an awesome job as a crew chief when he’s not driving.”
“We don’t have any full-time guys or anybody working at the shop full time. So, it’s me and Terry and Steve most of the time at night,” Mayhew said of the Bakersfield-based team. “We go to have fun. Obviously, winning is a lot more fun than not. That’s why we do it and keep on going back.”
The team does get help from Bakersfield native and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and his Kevin Harvick Incorporated team.
“Steve and Kevin have a good relationship,” Mayhew said. “They (KHI) help us in getting the cars ready for some of the races, with setups and stuff like that. It really helps out. At some of the other races, like Phoenix, we used some of their guys to help crew chief my car when Terry was racing. It really helps our program as a whole, getting information from someone like KHI.”