Race Weekend Central

Enough Already: Jeremy Mayfield’s Latest Failure

Jeremy Mayfield has tested positive for methamphetamine use, according to the latest sample collected by NASCAR. And no, this is not in reference to the test that Mayfield originally failed in May.

He failed another one.

A urine sample collected by NASCAR technicians on July 6 at Mayfield’s home returned positive for meth use. The sample was collected as NASCAR technicians directly observed (Mayfield gave the sample with his pants down and shirt pulled up), leaving no doubt as to its validity.

However, the collection of the positive sample was just one of many highlights from July 6. Mayfield was contacted by NASCAR officials and given two hours to report to their approved lab for a drug test, allowed under the emergency injunction that he was granted effective July 1. Yet Mayfield reportedly was unable to locate the NASCAR-approved facility and instead reported to another drug-testing lab (one suggested by his attorney), where he delivered a sample. The failure to provide the sanctioning body directly with a sample led NASCAR officials to show up at Mayfield’s home that evening to collect.

Mayfield’s attorney, John Buric, was quick to counter NASCAR’s report, saying that he instructed his client to report back to the lab Mayfield reported to on his own earlier that day as soon as NASCAR was done collecting their samples. That lab, Buric claims, confirmed that Mayfield did not test positive for meth use.

Two more contradicting stories in this saga… who’d have thought it possible?

Well, I’ve got two words of my own: Enough already.

As far as I’m concerned, Mayfield’s credibility is shot after this latest incident. Any issues brought up before the court that led to his reinstatement – flaws in NASCAR’s drug policies, mishandling of urine samples, etc. – do not apply here. If anything, NASCAR was flexible in allowing Mayfield to provide a sample in his home on the evening of July 6… a number of hours past the deadline the same injunction that cleared Mayfield to race stated he had to meet when called for testing. And notice there’s no questioning of the validity of this urine sample, either.

Unfortunately, it’s this latest incident which now has this writer firmly convinced that Mayfield is hiding something. It’s just the latest strand in a long string of episodes that don’t have me believing a word coming out of his mouth.

In May, when the first positive test was reported, there is no doubt that NASCAR did everything wrong they could to make themselves the bad guy and to provide Mayfield a way to wiggle around the positive test. But, it’s also been largely glossed over that even if Mayfield’s allegation that his test was the result of using Claritin and Adderall was true, he obviously had failed to disclose to the sanctioning body in due time that he was using such medications… which Ramsey Poston noted as early as June 5 was a violation of any competitor’s contract with NASCAR.

Fast forward to late June and the judicial process that led to Mayfield’s emergency injunction which reinstated him as a NASCAR competitor. The decision was largely based on the judge’s presumption that the “harm to Mr. Mayfield [not being allowed to race] significantly outweighs the harm to NASCAR.” So, while NASCAR’s drug policy and ability to police its competitors has been shredded and largely undermined, Mayfield has yet to show up for a race since the “emergency injunction” was granted.

See also
Jeremy Mayfield Injunction a No-Win Situation for NASCAR Racing, Drug Testing

And despite the truth that Mayfield Motorsports was indeed cash-strapped even before this ugly drama unfolded, there largely appears to have been no effort on Mayfield’s behalf to get back to the racetrack to take advantage of this injunction. After over a week leading up to the injunction of hyping up a possible return to the track at Daytona, the No. 41 team never showed up… and apparently never made any plans to.

Because even though the team’s former crew chief, Tony Furr, asserted the day prior to Mayfield’s reinstatement that “we’re a day-and-a-half away from having [a car] ready to go to wherever” and “I could have a team in place in less than an hour,” the No. 41 didn’t show up at Daytona… or Chicago.

Need more proof that Mayfield has obviously been blowing smoke about how quickly his team wanted and needed to get back to the racetrack? Today the final employee of the team, GM Bobby Wooten, left the same organization that Mayfield credited as his brainchild back in March. Why? Because just as he was doubtful regarding the validity of Robert Craddock and SmallSponsor.com’s pledge to sponsor Mayfield for the Brickyard race later this month, Wooten “does not believe Mayfield has any interest in resurrecting the team.”

Now, we have this latest episode that has Mayfield, already late in providing a urine sample, test positive again for methamphetamine.

And there’s no one screaming it was Claritin and Adderall this time.

Sure, there’s the sample that Mayfield provided at a lab of his attorney’s recommendation that was negative for meth. No question, the other elements regarding the latest breaking news in the case (that his stepmother has known of his meth use since 1998) border on the sensational even in this writer’s eye.

But ultimately, it’s the driver himself who has no credibility left to stand on.

Mayfield failed the first drug test. And regardless of what scenario truly played out regarding the Richmond fiasco in May, Mayfield failed to disclose in a timely manner the nature of his prescription drug use, a violation of his contract as a NASCAR competitor. Mayfield has failed to do anything to act on his reinstatement, despite far-reaching implications from that judgment which not only imperiled NASCAR’s drug policy but allowed him to take full control of his racing career away from the sanctioning body. Instead, he showed absolutely no interest and made no effort in getting back to racing. And now, he’s failed a drug test. Again.

Enough is enough. There’s an ugly pattern going here… and this time, it’s not of NASCAR’s making.

About the author

Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.

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