This past weekend, Mayfield surprised many racing fans when he showed up at the final SRX race of the season at Nashville. This week Mayfield appeared on The Frontstretch Podcast and talked about his SRX experience, how it came about, what it’s been like being out of NASCAR for so long, and how he hopes to return to racing on the big stage in 2022.
Jeremy Mayfield nervously attends SRX race at Nashville and sees familiar faces for first time in years
Jeremy Mayfield successfully raced for Ray Evernham’s team from 2002-05 and earned a pair of victories. He finished in the top 10 in the season points standings a couple of times. Then, it all came crashing down when the two men had a falling out.
There hasn’t been any talk publicly about the pair’s relationship. However, behind the scenes, they’ve slowly rekindled their friendship. Evernham reached out and invited Mayfield and his wife Shana to see an SRX race this year. Mayfield opted to attend the final race at Nashville and was glad he did because it was the first time he had seen Evernham and most of the racing community in years. However, it admittedly didn’t come without some trepidation.
“There was extra anxiety for all the things that went on in the past,” Mayfield said on The Frontstretch Podcast. “A lot of stuff happened back then. To be able to put all that behind you and walk in and start off fresh. I knew it was going to be tough and didn’t know what to expect.
“From the time we got out until the time we left there, we felt nothing but welcomed. Felt right back at home. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect, wasn’t sure. People can always look at you different ways, and think different of you, and judge you, and I didn’t feel that at all. Feel like it was right back to where we all left off. Just good to see our friends again.”
Addresses all the struggles he faced
While Mayfield gladly talked about his return to the track and catching up with old friends, he also addressed his struggles during the podcast. He said it was an extremely tough situation to endure, but, in the end, it made him a better person.
“It all started with one sort of thing going on and all the stuff that started in ’09,” Mayfield said. “That just triggered a lot of things, a domino effect, keep trying to pick up whatever. Shana and I have done well by kind of keeping it all grounded and trying to stay focused on everything that’s happened to us and fight off all the battles. I feel like we’ve done that and now it’s turn around and go back again and start over.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been ten years. It seems like yesterday for us. We’re working our way through everything and slowly but surely getting everything worked out and getting back on track here. But overall, I think we’re better people. I know our marriage is great and strong. Our family is still behind us 100 percent. We’re all still together and that’s the main thing.”
Jeremy Mayfield hopes to return to racing on the big stage
Jeremy Mayfield said that while he no longer competes in NASCAR, he didn’t quit racing altogether when he stepped away more than a decade ago. He’s continued to race late models on the dirt and short track. When asked if he’d consider a potential return to one of the NASCAR series, Mayfield said it was highly unlikely.
“I think that ship has sailed. I’m 52 years old,” Mayfield said. “I feel like I could get the job done for sure as a driver. With the way the sport is growing, and they’re getting younger drivers in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, for me, age isn’t a problem, but I think for them and the marketability and what they’re looking for, it probably would be.”
While even a one-off race in NASCAR won’t likely ever happen, Mayfield said he’s watched the SRX races with interest, including his former teammate Bill Elliott and wouldn’t hesitate to join if given an opportunity.
“Oh yeah, I definitely would. 100 percent would,” Mayfield said. “It’s certainly something I want to do. I know those guys had fun doing it. I watched all six races this year and was really excited about it. I like the way the format was. Just the way he’s got it all laid out. Seems like it’s working well. Knowing him, he’ll go back and make things a lot better than what it was this year. Next year should be a great year for them and I would love to be a part of it.”