Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield Bring a Breath of Fresh Air to Daytona 500

Jeremy TurnerSenior Analyst IFebruary 18, 2009

After the Dual Races for the Daytona 500, two names emerged into the race that not many people expected to hear: Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield.

What made these two names so significant?

For starters, both drivers had only been with their teams for a month at most—Mayfield had been with his for 20-something days—and had qualified for NASCAR's biggest race.

I have spoken to many NASCAR fans, and they agree that with the merging of teams during these harsh times, many drivers are finding themselves without sponsors or without rides.

For those drivers who had made a name for themselves, a ride is fairly certain and sponsorship will probably be there.

Riggs and Mayfield were banking on the Daytona 500 as their big race. They had built up everything to get into the race. Many, if not all, of the members of both teams had not been paid and were more or less doing this because they loved the sport.

The fact that both teams qualified into the race is a breath of fresh air that NASCAR needs. It shows that hard work and determination can get you into a race where many of the drivers race for big, money-holding teams.

I personally was overjoyed to see Riggs and Mayfield qualify into the 500. I think that this economic crisis will be a factor in the resurgence of these smaller, one-race teams.