Struggling Haas CNC Racing hoping to get boost from Riggs, Mayfield
2008 is a brand-new beginning for Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield, who hope to jump-start struggling Haas CNC Racing and take it to another level, writes Mark Ashenfelter.
Updated: January 31, 2008, 12:59 PM ETBy Mark Ashenfelter | ESPN.com
CONCORD, N.C. -- Technically, Haas CNC Racing is anything but a new Sprint Cup Series operation. Entering its sixth full-time season, the team is an established part of the landscape -- even if it's done nothing to distinguish itself.If it weren't for Johnny Sauter's fifth-place run at Richmond last September, the team would be 0-for-219 starts when it comes to finishing in the top five. With just 13 top-10 finishes and zero poles to its credit, you can see why the team that takes to the track this season bears scant resemblance to seasons past.
Last year also marked plenty of change for the team itself, which expanded from the single-car effort it had been in the past. Matt Borland was put in charge of the operation last May when he joined as the team's director of competition after serving as Dale Jarrett's crew chief to open the year.Haas, the team's owner, hasn't played a role in the day-to-day operations in years and he's now serving a two-year sentence in federal prison for tax fraud. Haas' incarceration isn't expected to have any impact on his race teams, however, meaning it will have every opportunity to make this new beginning work.
Mayfield believes that can happen."I feel like we've both got a lot to prove, a lot to gain, but we're going to do it together," Mayfield said. "It's pretty cool, because I feel like we're both pretty humble drivers. I want to see him win his first race, he wants to see me win, and we want to help each other."Mayfield, who drove for Penske Racing before moving to Evernham's operation in 2002, knows that isn't always the case."When you've got [teamwork] going on, there's nobody sitting there going, 'I've got three souvenir trailers and he's [only] got one,'" Mayfield said. "We're not into that. We're into racing and running good and helping each other."Riggs said he's on the same page as Mayfield when it comes down to what can make a team successful. While Haas might not have a four-car team like Hendrick Motorsports, it gets its engines and chassis from that organization and also has an engineering alliance with what last year was the sport's top team.
Jeremy and myself are in a position that we're so hungry to prove ourselves.
-- Scott Riggs
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