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Thurs., 10/4 on SPEED
8 p.m. ET: The Chase is On
8:30 p.m. ET: Survival of the Fastest
Fri., 10/5 on SPEED
Noon ET: Nextel Cup practice
1 p.m. ET: Craftsman Truck qualifying
2:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR Live
3:30 ET: Nextel Cup final practice
4:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR Live
5 p.m. ET: ARCA race
8 p.m. ET: Trackside
Sat., 10/6 on SPEED
10:30 a.m. ET: Go or Go Home
1 p.m. ET: Nextel Cup qualifying
3:30 p.m. ET: Craftsman Truck race
10 p.m. ET: Tradin' Paint
10:30 p.m. ET: NASCAR Performance
Sun., 10/7 on SPEED
Noon ET: NASCAR RaceDay
7 p.m. ET: SPEED Report
8 p.m. ET: NASCAR Victory Lane
9 p.m. ET: Wind Tunnel
If you're Jeremy Mayfield, you're wondering where you're going to work next year. You've got a wife, and you've got a career to protect. Not only are drivers like Kyle Petty trying to stay in the top 35 in owner points, which would secure his team a starting position each week, but you also have guys fighting for their careers and to get in the best equipment possible. You don't go up from the Cup Series; you can only go down. You're at the pinnacle of racing with drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya here, and Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Carpentier are headed over from open-wheel racing. Where do you go from here? It's a lot of pressure on Mayfield, and it ups the ante for everybody.
|Speed Mail Steve|
Rick Hendrick changed the way this sport gets new talent when he signed Jeff Gordon in 1992. Traditionally, owners would get a guy that's been in the Busch Series for six or seven years or run a veteran like Hut Stricklin. When Hendrick said he was going to plop a 21-year-old in his equipment, it changed how things got done. Now, owners like Chip Ganassi are having pretty good success with Montoya so he wants to bring over Franchitti. If they surround these guys with enough resources whether it's drivers, crew chiefs or equipment they can make a successful transition. There's no doubt that Mayfield is a Cup driver. With these new racers entering the sport, he's fighting to hang on, and Cup rides are getting fewer and further between.
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED host and reporter Steve Byrnes has covered racing for more than 20 years.