Dinner With Racers released their Jeremy Mayfield interview Thursday and it was everything you could want. Mayfield has no filter, he says names, he calls people out and he tells industry secrets no one knows. We’re not interested in his drug scandal today, what we’re interested in is an information bomb he dropped around the 38-minute mark.
Mayfield Was Offered The #48 Ride
You read that right. According to Jeremy Mayfield in 2001 Jeff Gordon called him to offer him the #48 ride for the 2002 season. Unfortunately for Mayfield he has already signed with Evernham for the ’02 season and passed on the seat. Everyone knows Jimmie Johnson took the #48 ride and the rest is literally history.
83 wins, 7 championships and a career of pissing off old-school NASCAR fans is what Jimmie Johnson made out of the ride.
Instead, we know how Mayfield’s career turned out. Fired from Evernham which he discusses in detail during his DWR interview. Then the Mayfield Motorsports thing, the drug test, the robbery story, all of that. It leaves you wondering what could have been.
Butterfly Effect: Jeremy Mayfield Driver Of The #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet
If Jeremy Mayfield did take the #48 ride the landscape of NASCAR would look wildly different than it does today. Would Mayfield have had the career that Johnson had? Absolutely not, Jimmie Johnson is in his own stratosphere. Mayfield would have won races though, Chad Knaus is that good of a crew chief.
Mayfield taking that ride frees up 7 potential championships. Meaning Jeff Gordon likely becomes a 5 or 6-time champ. Mark Martin probably wins a championship. The list of changes is endless.
Matt Kenseth could be a multiple time cup champ, Carl Edwards could have a Cup championship, even Denny Hamlin could get in on the mix. Hell Casey Atwood may have gotten another year at Evernham and who knows what would have happened there.
That also would have freed up 83 potential wins. Gordon would have gotten to 100 wins, others would have seen their win totals inflated as well. You’re talking about multiple Daytona 500’s, Brickyard 400’s and Coke 600’s up for grabs.
Jimmie Johnson would have landed a NASCAR Cup series ride somewhere and very well could have landed at Hendrick down the road. The combination of him and Knaus though is a huge part of his success, without that combo there is a chance history looks different.
Does Casey Mears end up at Hendrick? Can Hendrick allow Kyle Busch to leave the team? Would Dale Jr. have landed at Hendrick? More than likely because the team would need star power. What about Mark Martin and Brian Vickers? There are so many possibilities.
Jeremy Mayfield in the #48 would have been a wild dynamic for Hendrick Motorsports. They certainly wouldn’t be the powerhouse team they currently have. Not to discount Mayfield’s talent but Johnson is one of those once in a generation talents. Mayfield certainly would have won more races and competed for championships. Does his career end the same way? Who knows.
If you aren’t listening to DWR you’re missing out. Before you listen to Mayfield’s DWR interview give out podcast Racing Rundown a listen where we break down Mayfield’s past.
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