June 23, 2012
By Donalde z Smith
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits the road course in Sonoma, Calif., on Saturday, June 23.
David Mayhew, the driver of the No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends Chevrolet for team owner Steve McGowan, is a constant in the K&N Pro Series West. Halfway through the 2012 season, Mayhew holds the third position in the point standings, just 25 points away from first place.
Returning to the K&N Pro Series West after running a limited schedule in the series in 2011, Mayhew led all 50 laps of the opening race of the 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway for his only win of the season. However, he scored top 10 finishes in each of the season's first seven races.
Mayhew is scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut this weekend. He was selected to drive the No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford in the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. The regular driver for the No. 98 car, Michael McDowell, will be at Road America to run the Nationwide race for Joe Gibbs Racing.
In 2011, Mayhew qualified the No. 66 HP Racing Toyota for the Sonoma Sprint Cup race for McDowell. Thanks to David’s excellent qualifying effort, McDowell started the race thirty-eighth on the grid. However, should qualifying be canceled, Mayhew would still be in the race. (The No. 95 driven by Scott Speed would not make the lineup.)
What could be better than starting the race in McDowell’s No. 98 ride:
“Awesome day testing today. Fitted in car and turned laps getting used to everything just in case Harvick has to leave to have a baby this weekend at Sonoma. Getting the chance to just test a car of this quality was amazing!! Can't wait for this weekend.” Mayhew reported via Facebook.
Of course, making your NASCAR Sprint Cup debut in Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet would be even better. Mayhew tested the car a few days in Colorado.
Kevin Harvick noted on the NASCAR-Sonoma Blog: “To be honest I’m becoming a little apprehensive about this trip. Don’t get me wrong, it will be nice to see family and friends, and I do enjoy a good road-course race, but my wife (DeLana) is expecting our first child any time now. I’m not too comfortable with the idea of being so far away so close to the due date of the baby, or as we like to call him ‘Baby Otis’. But driving the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet is my job for the weekend and the race must go on.”
Kevin Harvick is a California native and has seven career wins He has a career-best finish of second at the Northern California track, achieved in 2007.
Since Delana Harvick is not due until July 23, David Mayhew will most likely make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Debut in the No. 98 Phil Parsons Racing Ford. Mayhew, also a California native, currently resides in Atascadero, California with his wife of five years.
NASCAR Race Mom (NRM) was fortunate to meet David Mayhew while he was racing in the K&N Pro Series West series. Mayhew who started in karting and is a five-time IKF Champion was a true gentleman and very polite.
NRM hopes that Mayhew qualifies for the race and be allowed to run enough laps to showcase his abilities. It is truly nice to see a nice person make his way into the show.
I cannot wait to root for David Mayhew in his first Sprint Cup race!
NOTE: NASCAR Legend and another super nice guy, Hershel McGriff, will be driving the No. 4 Park Corporation Chevrolet in the K&N Pro Series West race in Sonoma. The 1986 series’ champion is now eighty-four-years old. He leads the series with the most wins among active drivers. (437 starts with 65 wins) McGriff surprised everyone a few years ago when he came out of retirement to have some fun on the series’ road course events. His racing history and personal stats alone brings excitement and fans to the races he participates in. Last year, McGriff started the event fortieth and finished twentieth.
The K&N Pro Series West race is 64 laps, 127.36 miles, around the Sonoma Raceway’s 1.99 miles, ten turn, road course. It will be videotaped by the SPEED Channel who will air it on July 12th at 3 pm eastern time.
Indulge NASCAR Race Mom with a moment of reflection for a 24-year-old Welsh rally co-driver, Gareth Roberts. Roberts died while competing in the Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia rally after the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 he was navigating was skewered by a guardrail. Rest In Peace.
If you would like to learn more about Donalde z Smith, please check out her web site at NASCAR Race Mom.
You can contact Donalde z Smith at .. Insider Racing News
The thoughts and ideas expressed by this writer or any other writer on Insider Racing News, are not necessarily the views of the staff and/or management of IRN.