LONG ISLAND, VA :: Former NASCAR superstar Jeremy Mayfield is  trying to pay it forward in the sport of auto racing by giving under-advantaged drivers an opportunity to work with him in hopes of developing and progressing.  He is currently working with Virginia driver Nathan Crews.

Crews, 25, has raced at Ace Speedway, Franklin County Speedway and Orange County Speedway in a Late Model as well as in the Pure Stock division at South Boston Speedway.  Crews is excited to be working with Mayfield and hopes the former NASCAR driver will help him develop as a driver.

“Jeremy’s trying to give a young kid a chance that wouldn’t be able to race any other way,” Crews sad.  “I come from a family that doesn’t have a lot of money and we put all our money in to racing.  Jeremy has taken an interest and help me achieve my goals.  It’s become a dream come true to work with him.”

Mayfield said he believes in Crews.

“I just got to meeting him and there’s a lot of potential in him,” Mayfield commented.  “He’s a good guy and good kid and he deserves a break if he can get it.  He seems like he’s going to be a good racer.  He has a lot of talent and definitely wants to do it.  That’s more than anything.”

Crews knows Mayfield’s background in racing and knows that he has been gifted with an opportunity.

“It’s pretty cool to work with someone who’s been at the level he’s been to,” Crews remarked.  “He’s a great teacher and he knows racing inside and out.  I’m trying to make a career out of this.  He’s just a great mentor and he can teach me and tell me things to do and things not to do that would take al ot longer to learn on my own without him helping me.”

Crews plans to continue racing in Late Models next season.

“I’m sure we’ll be doing a few Late Model races,” Crews stated.  “Hopefully we’ll go to better things than that.  We’re working on some stuff and hopefully running some bigger cars in bigger divisions.  We might even run a full season of Late Models.  We’ll just have to see how it works out… We wanted to run Late Models this year more than we did but we didn’t quite have the funding.  We’ve been working on this deal with Jeremy so hopefully we’ll be able to race a lot more than we did this year.”

Mayfield has been working to redefine himself since his NASCAR career came to an end in 2009 in a scandal that rocked the sport.  He has been running in the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series as well as in the X-1R Pro Cup Series.  He also plans to race on dirt next season whenever possible.

Along with continuing his racing career, he hopes to work with other drivers as well.

“There are so many good drivers that never get a chance and I was one of those,” Mayfield explained.  “When I came up, we didn’t have a lot of money.  We didn’t have the money to go Cup racing.  That was my dream.  I had to take a chance, moved to Nashville and got my chance.

“I want to be able to help racers that don’t have a lot of money because I know how hard it is and I want to give back to them.  [Nathan] has tons of talent and wants it really bad… The kids that got money, they’ve got their way paid forward.  The ones who don’t, it’s not fair so I want to do what I can to help racers.  I would like to continue doing this the rest of my career and beyond that.”

Mayfield is optimistic about what the future holds for Crews.

“I see so much potential in him and see how bad he wants it.  He’s trying to come up the right way and I respect that a lot.  Hopefully, he’ll race in Cup someday.”