Mayfield finalizes owner/driver deal

Updated: February 6, 2009, 2:16 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jeremy Mayfield has finalized a deal to be the driver/owner this year of the No. 41 car sponsored by All Sport.

Mayfield was given the car number from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, but he did not get the owner points that will put him in the top 35 that are guaranteed a starting position.

I have to give NASCAR a lot of credit for the things they've done in the sport over the last two years to make it possible for people like me to get involved as a team owner.

-- Jeremy Mayfield

Meanwhile, Guitar Hero World Tour will sponsor the No. 8 of Earnhardt Ganassi in the Daytona 500 and multiple races throughout the season for Aric Almirola in the 8 and Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 1.

John Andretti will drive the No. 34 car for EGR in conjunction with Front Row Motorsports. He will inherit the No. 15's points from Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season.

Mayfield is one of 15 new owners approved for the Sprint Cup Series. He will be joined by co-owner Gary Smith, the chairman and CEO of Big Red Inc. and the All Sport brand.

"Team ownership is something I've always wanted to pursue," Mayfield said. "I have to give NASCAR a lot of credit for the things they've done in the sport over the last two years to make it possible for people like me to get involved as a team owner.

"The new COT car and even more importantly the testing ban have made it a reality for me to come in and compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter