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Wednesday, November 14
Evernham to buy part of Smith's team
ESPN.com news services

Jeremy Mayfield
Mayfield
Casey Atwood
Atwood
Jeremy Mayfield will join Evernham Motorsports to drive the No. 19 Dodge in 2002, according to ESPN2's RPM2Night. Casey Atwood, current driver of the No. 19 ride, will move to Jim Smith's No. 7 Dodge.

Team owner Ray Evernham also would buy a part of Smith's team, which is switching from Ford to Dodge for next season.

An announcement is scheduled for Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's NAPA 500.

Mayfield, 32, was fired by Penske South Racing earlier this year. The Owensboro, Ky., native had five top-fives in 28 starts in 2001. In his career, Mayfield has three wins in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Atwood, a 21-year-old rookie, started the 2001 season slowly, but has come on strong of late. In the first 31 races of the season, Atwood led just 14 laps. In the last three events, however, the Nashville, Tenn., native has led 123.

Atwood claimed his first career pole three weeks ago at Phoenix. Last Sunday at Homestead, Fla., the young gun looked to be on track for his first career win. He ended the day with a career-best third-place finish, behind teammate and eventual winner Bill Elliott.

Evernham would not comment on the impending move, but said Atwood was going to be a part of his team for a long time. With two drivers who have the experience to deliver wins immediately and another expected to blossom into a superstar, Evernham believes his team is positioned perfectly.

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