The Frontstretch: Shakedown Session: Should Jeremy Mayfield Give Up? by Brody Jones -- Thursday April 14, 2011

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Shakedown Session: Should Jeremy Mayfield Give Up?

Brody Jones · Thursday April 14, 2011

 

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Depending on one’s viewpoint, Jeremy Mayfield is either a misunderstood conspiracy victim or he’s an attention-seeking compulsive liar. There is no middle ground nowadays, with Mayfield’s seemingly endless crusade to clear his name from drug use forcing an opinion one way or the other. Nearing the two-year mark on his case, it’s had more bizarre twists and turns than a Saw movie since the NASCAR positive test that stirred up a racing nation in May, 2009. Mayfield has accused his stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, at one point of lying about his alleged methamphetamine usage and even accused her of allegedly murdering his father, which led at one point to a lawsuit filed by his former stepmother for slandering her name (later dropped). He has been involved in lawsuits with former lawyers and engine suppliers. He has claimed that NASCAR’s Brian France, while allegedly drinking scotch, called Mike Helton at the Indianapolis control tower and had him black-flagged in the 2006 Brickyard 400, a statement that France and even former team owner Ray Evernham have gone on record to dispute.

But the bizarre claims don’t end there. He’s also gone on record to say that NASCAR allegedly either fabricated the results of those drug tests or they should have been made aware of the chances of inaccurate results. And in the latest strange twist, Mayfield has claimed that NASCAR has allegedly edited his recent interview with SPEED Channel to make it look like he wasn’t really saying anything because he claimed NASCAR called the network and said if they aired all of what Mayfield allegedly said, the sport’s relationship with the network would be in serious jeopardy. With this latest twist, one has to wonder if Jeremy Mayfield might want to just throw in the towel because, let’s be realistic, race fans… even if he wins the case, his NASCAR career is basically over, for all intents and purposes. Mayfield has even admitted this fact. So why keep trying to buck City Hall, or in this case, NASCAR?

Jeremy Mayfield is in a lose-lose situation as he tries to clear his name from drug accusations. His latest claim involves NASCAR reportedly editing a SPEED interview and threatening their relationship with the channel.

There are two schools of thought on the subject. Mayfield’s most ardent supporters have stood by him when so many have abandoned ship, and those supporters point to the tragic case of Tim Richmond, whom NASCAR admitted later on to tampering with his drug test for the 1988 Daytona Busch Clash. But what those fans need to realize is that in 1988, society did not know as much as they do now about the AIDS virus. There were very real concerns that Tim might be in a bloody accident and rescue workers could become infected as a result.

However, in this situation, Mayfield does not appear to be suffering from any debilitating diseases on the level of HIV or anything of that sort. He has tested positive for methamphetamines not once, but twice. He has claimed that taking Claritin and Adderall set off the positive test. Jon Wood, of the famous Wood Brothers family, was another driver that claimed to have a bad reaction to Adderall after a bizarre interview following an accident, which led to his eventual removal from his Busch Series ride and a one-way ticket to the land of “Where Are They Now?” But there has been some speculation that perhaps Wood was under the influence of some sort of substance that led to his removal from the car. While it was never formally proven that Wood was under the influence of any illegal substances, that speculation still exists to this day.

The other school of thought is that Mayfield is acting like a typical addict, with his rampant, bizarre denials and outright refusal to take any responsibility for what NASCAR claims that he has done. Those thoughts have only been strengthened with the same type of career-killing interviews that Charlie Sheen has become a laughing stock for. The only thing different is Mayfield hasn’t declared himself a “Vatican warlock assassin” with “tiger blood” and hasn’t claimed he’s “duh, winning!” his court case. It’s no secret that Mayfield’s public denials and twisted attempts to keep his court case in the limelight of NASCAR have hurt far more than it has helped him and it’s leaving NASCAR fans divided. On this other side of the fence, people wish that Mayfield, like Vanilla Ice, would just fade away into obscurity.

It seems as if Mayfield truly is damned if he keeps this case going, but he’s damned if he doesn’t as well. To keep pushing forward means he’s only going to further alienate the public unless dramatic revelations from NASCAR change their perception over the long-term. But if he doesn’t keep fighting, then it’s more or less an admission of guilt. So what do you do? It’s going to be a large, costly uphill battle to disprove the results of not one, but two failed drug tests. Mayfield will, in all likelihood, be black-balled from NASCAR when all the dust settles from this court case, so for race fans to hope he will one day make it back to the sport’s top level is rather misguided.

But at the end of the day, the majority of race fans are tired of this mess and just want to see this whole ugly debacle come to a merciful end. Both sides are at a major impasse at this stage; Mayfield maintains his innocence while NASCAR maintains his guilt. It’s a case where nobody wins; it’s just when faced with little upside, it’s Mayfield who loses more by not waving the white flag.

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mrclause
04/14/2011 10:45 AM
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Why should Jeremy give up if he is innocent? Why didn’t you Mr Jones, attend and report on the contradictory testimony France gave in court? Would you quit and just go away if you were Jeremy. The whole story has not been told by a long way in this. You glossed over the lab corp tests that showed Jeremy tested negative minutes after Dr Blacks test showed positive. You noted NASCAR has doctored prior tests and that is ok and builds credibility from that? Are you a reporter, a journalist, or just a blogger with a one sided opinion?

David
04/14/2011 10:58 AM
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He is one sick puppy—always someone else’s fault, which is typical behavior of an addict. He’s left more lies and a trail of unpaid bills that would reach round the globe. The louder he screams the goofier he looks. Brian France et al can kill a race series that’s for sure but he ain’t the problem. It’s funny how this is much more about Brian France than two, not one but two, failed drug tests. They have tried to interject everything about Brian France into this show — from him farting in 2001 at Daytona to this latest comical stuff in Speed v NASCAR. The next we will hear that Brian is responsible & mastermind for 9/11.

Why on earth would NASCAR call Speed? If they di by the way no one would ever know it that’s for sure. But why in the first place? NASCAR needs Speed more than the other way around. I don’t think they are in any position to demand editing stories to slant their way. Way too much to lose. Speed gives them a platform for their programming and other series’ ratings hits. Yea let’s see NASCAR yank their funding over a story about a loser that they are winning anyway. He is just a nag. He has lost every single legal point that matters over and over again. That fact that he is still standing in court with standing is a testament to how screwed up our legal system is anyway.

But wow! There are gullible people out there that believe this crap about subterfuge, misdirect, conspiracy, and evil doin. These people are gonna have egg on their face when this guy self destructs. And he will. And he will accuse Brian of coordinating that one too.

Steve
04/14/2011 11:59 AM
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This is what NASCAR does. It bullies whoever it wants. Jeremy is just another one that “doesn’t fit”. And people wonder why the sport is in a tail spin. Look at how they are treating Robby Gordon not just on the track but AT the track. Look at all the sponsors that have left second tier teams to do partials on the bigger teams. There is nothing fair about NASCAR. Except for their greed at the top. Period. Go Jeremy and Robby, stick it to NASCAR.

FS_BrodyJones
04/14/2011 03:20 PM
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To respond to what mrclause said… No sir, I was not at the trial because A.) I would not have been media access in all likelihood and B.) I have a real job that keeps me very busy a lot of the time. To be brutally honest, I can understand IF Jeremy is truly innocent in defending himself. It’s like I said in the column. He’s damned if he defends himself and he’s damned if he doesn’t. But either way, he’s not going to win unless he can get some kind of earth-shattering evidence that NASCAR tampered with his test. And I never said I out-right condoned what NASCAR did with Tim Richmond, but I see why they did it due to legitimate health concerns. Truthfully, this battle is turning more into a “he said-she said” affair and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. And for the record, sir, I actually work as a sports journalist for a newspaper. Thank you for weighing in and to everyone else, keep the feedback coming.

Steve
04/14/2011 04:10 PM
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If he doesn’t think he is guilty, why should he give up? He knows that he will never race in Nascar again. But he is going to fight for what he thinks is right. Of course all his detractors can come up with is how that’s “a sure sign of an addict”. Jeremy does not and never has looked like a meth addict, and if he in fact is not, why should he give up?

The Mad Man
04/14/2011 05:48 PM
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It’s pretty easy to cast stones if you haven’t been in the other man’s shoes. As we’re finding out in other cases, wrongfully accused and jailed people have been found to be innocent after all thanks to advances in technology.

If you watched the Tim Richmond special on ESPN, then you saw where Bill France Jr admitted they “made a mistake” with Tim’s drug testing. He wouldn’t say they “spiked” his samples or submitted false samples. That would open up the door for another lawsuit by the Richmond family. So you’ll never hear an admission of guilt on the part of NASCAR or the Frances. But the same people who did Richmond’s test were also invovled in the NFL drug scapegoat scandal where they picked out only certain players to be suspended instead of all the players who tested positive for banned substances. Some of those same people are also involved with Mayfield’s testing. Is it a coincidence that Mayfield’s results are positive?

Mayfield had himself tested at an independent lab both before and after being tested by NASCAR. The results from NASCAR were positive. The independent lab who tested Mayfield had both the before and after tests as being negative. Both labs use the same testing procedures and methodlogy and both are certified to do drug testing. So why the disparity? There shouldn’t be any. All 3 tests should’ve yielded the same results.

Dr Black, who runs Aegis Labs and handles NASCAR’s drug testing program, stated that there is no such thing as a false positive. If so, then why has Aegis Labs been successfully sued for a false positive? Why did one of the judges in the Mayfield lawsuit state that false positives are a fact of life?

There’s a whole lot more to this lawsuit that hasn’t seen the light of day because one party doesn’t want the public seeing it and it isn’t Mayfield wanting to keep these things secret.

sylvia richardson
04/14/2011 06:18 PM
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GO JEREMY. DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE {OLD POOPS} AT SO CALLED NASCAR. I BELIEVE IN YOU JEREMY,NOT THE OVER THE HILL GANG THAT WE CALL NASCAR. THE NAME OF THEIR GAME IS CALLED NOTHING BUT {GREED}

RAY
04/14/2011 08:21 PM
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I believe Jeremy…He still has to pay his attorneys…and if he were guilty he’s not going to keep paying out of his pocket just to save face…Nascar Brian is a big Bully …He has more money to keep this going doesn’t mean he’s right…I left a company after 13 yrs to go to work for the competition…my boss owes me 7hundred and some odd dollars for A weeks pay..He has never paid me having all kinds of excuses why he didn’t I have been going to court for 10 months now..and they keep postphonig court…he knows i have all he documents to prove that he owes me…but he has hired big attorneys because he has the money…Why do you think a man would spends thousands of dollars on attorney fees knowing in the end he will lose..It’s principal to him showing anybody that works for him don’t ever try to take him to court because he has unlimited funds for attorneys…And i am defending myself because he knows i would spend more on attorneys than what he owes me and thats what he is hoping…That is how BIG CORPORATE PEOPLE ARE..BIG BULLIES To the blue collar workers