Oh Jeremy Mayfield, Where Have You Gone?

Leroy KleimolaCorrespondent IJanuary 1, 2009

The Year was 2005.  Jeremy Mayfield had clinched a "Race for the Chase" spot for the second consecutive year, driving his No. 19 Dodge into a win at Michigan, and Mayfield went on to finish ninth in the standings that year with 6,073 points. 

Everyone had remembered what he had done the year before that. 

Mayfield was in 12th place and basically needed a win at Richmond along with a few other miracle things in order to get in.  Mayfield did win that race and got into the chase.

In the coming years, winning a race to get into the Chase was known as "pulling a Mayfield."

Jeremy Mayfield was sitting on top of the world and was considered to be one of the top drivers going into the 2006 season.  It never happened.

Newcomer Kasey Kahne was an up-and-coming driver and to accommodate Kahne, Ray Evernham gave Kasey Jeremy's crew chief and most of his team.

Mayfield fell apart and though the details are pretty blurry, what has come out is quite a story. 

Mayfield knew that Evernham was cheating on his wife with Busch Driver, Erin Crocker, and Mayfield didn't approve of it. After failed attempts to try to get Evernham to quit, Mayfield said he was going to stop lying to the media about how much time Evernham was spending with the teams.  Mayfield felt that without Ray in the shop, and being at the races that He wasn't spending enough time with the team and it was hurting the organization.  So Mayfield stepped up and said something to Evernham.

Evernham decided to fire Mayfield, and that's when Ray's time with the Busch team was mentioned, in the court room. 

Mayfield sued Evernham for wrongful termination and won, but came away looking very bad. Evernham made sure that Mayfield was blackballed, and Mayfield didn't finish that season. 

Mayfield got a ride with Bill Davis Racing, driving the No. 36 Toyota 360 OTC car.  360 had promised money, sponsorships, and much, much more.  It seemed that things were going to work out for Mayfield who struggled trying to find a ride during the off-season.

360 had promised getting sponsors, like KISS, Wrestlemania, and many more.

360 merged with another company. The president of 360 fled the country after the federal government began probing into things. Mayfield spent quite a bit of his own money in order to help out.

Mayfield quit due to issues with sponsorships and a terrible vehicle. He and Bill Davis remained friends.  He wasn't able to recover anything, and Mayfield was left without a ride.  Less than a year later, Bill Davis would sell 90 percent of his team. 

Towards the end of the 2007 season, Jeremy Mayfield took over driving the No. 66 Chevrolet Best Buy car.  He finished 40th, 22nd, 39th, and 26th. 

During the off-season, it was announced that Jeremy Mayfield and teammate Scott Riggs, would switch vehicles, and Mayfield would take over the Haas No. 70 Chevrolet. 

Mayfield did not have a crew chief who would listen to the changes he wanted with the car.  Knowing that Tony Stewart was getting ownership of Haas, Mayfield knew that the cars weren't being made to his liking and that he was on the losing end.

Therefore, Mayfield would leave Haas after only 7 races.

Later that season, Mayfield got a break when he raced for injured Dario Franchitti.  He started the race 10th but finished 25th due to a loose car and a poor pit crew. All in all, they didn't have time to gel together. 

Franchitti came back and praised Mayfield for helping teach him some things and for being a class figure around the shop. 

Which brings us to the new off-season.  Rumors have flown that Mayfield would be racing a truck, and that could be, but most likely the deal has fallen through.  Mayfield is still trying to get a Sprint deal and it's sounding that he is still trying to get a ride with a Sprint Team. 

But with Elliot Sadler being released from the Dodge No. 19 Best Buy car, there is one more driver in search for a quality ride.

The question is: Does Mayfield have what it takes to race again, or is his career over?