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Does Everyone Owe Jeremy Mayfield An Apology? He Says….

It’s been over nine years since Jeremy Mayfield was banned from NASCAR after testing positive for meth. The controversy ruined his career in the sport; despite Mayfield’s repeated denials, some were left thinking the driver was an addict.

But now, recent events have those people starting to believe his side of the story.

Once news broke Aug. 6 NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of Oxycodone, social media was flooded with Mayfield supporters. Dug out from the archives was a 2009 quote in which the driver made some pointed accusations along these lines.

“Brian France out there talking about effective drug policy, it’s kind of like Al Capone talking about effective law enforcement,” he said back then. “That’s the way I feel about it. The pot shouldn’t be calling the kettle black, you know what I’m saying? And I think the world needs to hear that, too.”

It took nine years to prove it, but it turns out Mayfield’s claims were right. The powerful leader who banned him for failing a drug test was using drugs himself.

“This goes way back, and it’s still true today, that I would never say something on the radio or TV or in an article or anything I’ve done for the media… I would never say it unless I was 100 percent sure that it’s the truth,” Mayfield told Frontstretch after France’s arrest. “I wasn’t going to say anything that… people would come back and say, ‘Oh, you lied about that or lied about this.’ I wouldn’t do that.”

Mayfield feels he has been proven right on a number of other accounts as well. A brief summary of claims and supposed proof can be found in the tweet below.

“I was telling the truth,” he said last week. “I was telling the media exactly what [was going on] without throwing anybody under the bus.”

But when the news broke about France, Mayfield didn’t respond with joy or attack France’s character. Instead, he said, “God works [in] mysterious ways… He can do more in five minutes than we can do in five lifetimes.”

“My wife [Shana Mayfield] and I have been through a lot over the last nine or 10 years, and throughout all this, we’ve been beat down… We feel like we’ve been on an island by ourselves,” Mayfield said. “When you feel like the whole world’s against you sometimes, there ain’t but one place to turn and one thing that can make a difference, and that’s God.”

Mayfield may be quick to forgive France but that doesn’t fix his tattered reputation. That’s where hope rises these days that the driver will get people to believe the most important part of his story: he has never used meth.

“That was all Brian’s deal that happened the other day… that was all on him, but yet, everybody was able to look back at the comments I’ve made and then connect the dots between us,” Mayfield said. “The only thing I could hope was somebody would believe me one day.”

For those not familiar with the case, in a five-year span, Jeremy Mayfield went from NASCAR’s poster boy to public enemy No. 1.

On Sept. 11, 2004, Mayfield made a late-race pass to win the cutoff event at Richmond Raceway and jumped from 14th in points to ninth. That secured him one of the final spots in NASCAR’s inaugural Chase for the Cup. It was one of the most exciting moments in the sport’s history, temporarily giving hope that Brian France’s unpopular changes to the point system and creation of a postseason would be a success. The following year, Mayfield won in August and made the Chase again as both driver and sport reached their peak.

But it all came tumbling down after that. Mayfield’s crew chief, Kenny Francis, was moved to teammate Kasey Kahne for 2006. A difficult year paired with a public spat involving owner Ray Evernham; Mayfield was released from his premier Dodge ride by midsummer. He struggled mightily after leaving Evernham Motorsports, never again earning a top-10 finish before starting his own team in 2009. Driving an underfunded, single-car effort, the former postseason contender was simply trying to survive in the sport.

Instead, he got kicked to the curb. On May 2, 2009, also at Richmond Raceway, Mayfield failed the sport’s random drug test and competed in what has been the final NASCAR race of his career. According to the doctor NASCAR used for the test, Dr. David Black, Mayfield tested positive for meth.

Opinions still vary on whether or not the test results were legitimate. Mayfield claims to this day that it was a mixture of his prescribed Adderall and over-the-counter Claritin, which he informed Dr. Black of. Mayfield could’ve enlisted in the Road to Recovery program that we’ve since seen AJ Allmendinger and Spencer Gallagher go through. However, he didn’t want to admit guilt and be labeled a drug addict.

Mayfield instead took legal action against NASCAR and he won an injunction, temporarily lifting his suspension. The catch was that Mayfield had to pass another drug test given by Black. Mayfield failed this test, too, but passed a separate one conducted by LabCorp less than an hour later. But this second test didn’t matter to NASCAR; it considered Black’s test to be superior to LabCorp.

That’s right: NASCAR didn’t consider LabCorp, one of the largest and most-used labs in the world for companies’ drug tests, to be a reliable source. And no matter what any expert said on the issue or evidence Mayfield provided, NASCAR would not budge on the issue.

One doctor stated that had Mayfield used the amount of meth the test said was in his system, he’d either be dead or a chronic user. If you’ve ever seen a chronic meth user, then you know its deadly effects. It can take beautiful people and whip them into a zombie within a fairly short timeframe. It’s difficult to believe Mayfield would have been winning races just a few years earlier had he been a chronic user and he would certainly not still be racing now on dirt tracks.

No one will ever know for sure, but one theory is that the Adderall/Claritin combination caused Mayfield to fail the first test and Black or France rigged the second one. NASCAR had just instituted its new drug policy in 2009, so it couldn’t have word getting out that the test might be faulty. Plus, Claritin was a sponsor at the time. It was risky to have word get out that the product might make someone on Adderall fail a drug test.

Mayfield’s NASCAR career was pretty much over in 2009 before the suspension; he was a backmarker for his own team at the time. Still, he spent most of his money in a legal battle against NASCAR. In the end, Mayfield ended up losing on a technicality — NASCAR has waivers for drivers to sign before they race saying they can’t take legal action against the sport.

Now 49 years old, Mayfield claims the evidence remains in his corner.

“That’s something you can always look back on is you can look at my whole career and you could talk to anyone in the garage area that was around me every single day,” he said. “All my team members, all the other drivers, everybody; not one person could ever say I was driving a race car or even in the garage area or been around me where I’ve been impaired on anything, alcohol, drugs, anything. And that’s something that I’m proud to say.

“Brian France painted that picture of me. Not really NASCAR, just him.”

The five-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner said he doesn’t have a problem with anyone else in NASCAR.

“I think it just became personal between [France] and I,” Mayfield said. “That’s all it was, but yet the France family still owns NASCAR. And I don’t see that Brian can just get fired, and he’s gonna go away and everything will be lovely. I just don’t see that happening… I just don’t think he’s going to give his spot up that easy.”

Mayfield said he was shocked when he heard that France was arrested.

“I never saw it coming with him [France] holding a DUI or drug charges because usually he would get himself out of them before anybody heard about them,” Mayfield said. “He’s got enough money to make anything happen.”

It’s notable how empathetic Mayfield is to France’s cause despite their bad blood. He was initially hesitant to talk about the current NASCAR CEO because he said, “I don’t want to knock him down. I know he’s going to get knocked down a lot right now, and I want to be the last one to do that. I know how that feels.”

Of course, those charges have no impact on Mayfield’s current status in the sport. Moving forward, about the only way you would ever see him involved in NASCAR again would be if the Frances sold it, which has been rumored to happen.

In the meantime, the Owensboro, Ky. native can be seen riding the cushion on dirt tracks such as Toccoa Raceway in Georgia, Tri-County Race Track in North Carolina or Travelers Rest Speedway in South Carolina. He still works full-time as a driver, racing most weeks for Safety Plus Racing owned by Taylor Griffith. But Mayfield longs to bring back Mayfield Motorsports and move up to World of Outlaws in sprint cars. One goal specifically is to race in the Knoxville Nationals.

“Now I’m trying to go and win some big races on dirt before my career comes to an end,” Mayfield said. “I’d like to [race in the Knoxville Nationals]. I don’t know when it’d be, but I’m certainly working on it. I would love to do that. We got some things working that could come about that would allow us to do that.”

No matter what else Mayfield accomplishes in his career, he said what people remember him most for is, “Hey, Jeremy!” in reference to this Dodge commercial he was in.

Now, with his comments proven true on France, Mayfield hopes the drug claims fade away and people can focus on those happier memories instead.

Special thanks to Vinnie Bonfigli and GarageTalkLive.com for helping set up this interview.

About Michael Massie

Michael Massie
Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.

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36 comments

  1. Doesn’t change the fact that Mayfield was a criminal their and a meth junkie. POS!

    • Obviously you haven’t looked at the facts, and are in fact yourself, an uneducated fool. He proved he wasn’t on meth. And a legitimate lab also proved it. NASCAR and Brian France needed an example and unfortunately Mayfield was their guy!! Read some of the evidence and gain some knowledge before you start spouting off at the mouth. Idiot

  2. No, Noreen, there isn’t.

    An Alford plea, in United States law, is a guilty plea in criminal court, whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence.

    It’s funny; l used to say the same thing as you until l closely followed the case.

    Btw, it wasn’t a cop that was killed on that motorcycle, he was an informant that was running from the police at an extremely high rate of speed.

    Knowing that, you don’t think it’s interesting that this informant had drugs in his possession?

    If JM had stolen scrap metal on his property, why did they bring drug sniffing dogs?

    Why were there multiple counties of SWAT team members?

    Why were there names of NASCAR representatives listed on paperwork from the night of the raid?

    Why was his wife zip tied to a chair?

    Why were his guns, that he had receipts for, confiscated and reported stolen, only to be proven to be his and returned absent of any trial?

    Why was his open safe searched and cash confiscated along with a bag alleged to possess “meth residue” never seen by anyone, ever?

    Not in court, not to JM, not in the records or pictures of the seized assets from his property, literally no record or proof of any meth was ever presented…ever.

    Did you know that JM and Shana became good friends with Megan France? I wonder if she ever shared anything with them that could be problematic for BF?

    I’m sure you know that Bill France admitted to rigging the results of Tim Richmond’s drug test back in 1988, yet you think it’s crazy to posture this could happen again by his son who just introduced the new road to recovery program plus saw Claritin D as a new sponsor.

    Here was an HIV positive driver that didn’t fit the mold of NASCAR drivers so they literally falsified his drug test results and only admitted it after he died.

    Yeah…crazy me.

  3. NBCs golden boy ray evernham had just as much to do with the railroading of Jeremy mayfield.

    • A freaking men!!!!!!!!!!!! And he still walks on water to this day..Creep he is. NASCAR takes care of their own!

      • Another Viewpoint

        Oh, please! If you are going to throw stones at Ray Evernham, what about Junior Johnson who destroyed his own race team with his extramarital affair with a young chippie in 1992? Where are TB and kb expressing their rage over that? Yet Johnson is considered one of the legends of NASCAR when he was nothing but a convicted felon and an old fool screwing a woman half his age while frittering away a championship season. Obviously, NASCAR took care of its own long before BZF came on the scene.

        Jeremy Mayfield has no one to blame but himself for his failed drug tests and his run-ins with the law, not to mention the way he gloated over beating Dale Sr. a grand total of ONCE in his career. He was a mediocre driver who blew the chances he was given. No one owes that loser an apology.

        • LOL, do understand anything about this? FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS! The article is about Jeremy and how what NASCAR did or did not do to him! I and others maintain…now this is very important…pay attention. BZF was called out by Jeremy and so was that fine citizen RAY E. (SARCASM OF COURSE) and these two douches it SEEMS were hell bent on having this guy kicked out of the sport! NOT JUNIOR J. Jeremy was open about RAY and what was going on in the shop and about BZF. I don’t recall Jeremy speaking about Junior Johnson. do you? So you see the article is about how NASCAR treated Jeremy and as far as I can tell. BZF and RAY had everything to with Jeremy and NOT JUNIOR JOHNSON! Common Core student? No proof, my opinion of what was going on at the time! The point being dumb dumb, these two idiots seems to have banded together to “silence” Jeremy. NASCAR has a GOLDEN RULE that has plagued their credibility one could argue for decades. It seems you don’t speak about the “family” to non family members. And that was Jeremy’s sin, imo. Don’t give a fluck about Junior Johnson…save it for a Junior Johnson article when that comes up!

          • kb, how about you FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS on the issue this column raised? Is the fact that BZF was arrested in any way PROOF that he was out to get Jeremy Mayfield? Or that poor Jeremy deserves some kind of apology?

            The clear answer is NO!

            Just because Mayfield and many, many others were aware of France’s own drug problems in NO WAY absolves him from responsibility for what he knowingly put into his own body. Only your all-consuming hatred for France allows you to reach your completely illogical conclusion. Whatever meager brain power you have is completely overcome with your vitriol on the subject.

            And Ray Evernham’s affair with Erin Crocker also has NOTHING to do with Mayfield’s self-inflicted problems. Yet you drag that irrelevancy into the discussion as well.

            Don’t try to insult me, lady, when your own arguments are full of logical fallacies a 10-year old could refute! But the 10-year old mind is what FS and their childish writers cater to.

  4. I am proud to say that Jeremy grew up next door to me in Owensboro. I dont believe for a minute that he would ever take any illegal drugs. All he ever wanted to do was race cars.

  5. No. People, certainly not him in his “truth” statements, forget the other things he did. How about not showing up for drug tests. Dodging anything but he said so. Those three facts are true. Well this the problem these days. People do this all the time. You need to read every news item from those months. Look AJ Allmendinger accidently took an Adderall. He admitted it, went through the road for recovery and moved on. Mayfield had the same opportunity and he refused to even think of that./ Just sue with little to stand on. If he was innocent, fine. But he sure made everything 100 times worse by his actions. He is clouding huis behavior using Everham and France’s situation. Those are separate and apart and not relevant. Smoke screen.

    Oh and don’t forget all the criminal stuff afterward. Go away Mayfield. Just wants to make money on his “story”. He just wants to get his name out there again and make money on “his story”.

  6. I have always believed in Jeremy and Shana. Conversations I’ve had with them were straight forward and cordial. Always very nice to talk to. They have been through hell and thank God, they believe in each other in order to survive. Anyone who really knows them personally, will agree they are super nice people.

  7. Jeremy told some very true truths in public on record regarding the race team where he worked. Do not think for a minute that the object, the very large ego of Jeremys truth did not run to BZF to whine. The ball started to roll from there. One was a cheater in many aspects of his life, but he still gets slap’s on the back with an “atta boy”. As if a “good guy”. Pffft. The other has had coverups before, this time it did not work out so well. My speculation!!!! Point being, IMO Mayfield’s SIN if you will, at the onset was speaking the truth. The truth is not an accepted form of communication where NASCAR and NASCAR favorites are concerned. One of the most controlled and secretive organizations. I would love for drivers, team owners ANYBODY not in “favor” with the family, ANYBODY..to write a book and tell the damn truth. IMO.

  8. NASCAR has a history of lying about drug test results. In 1988 Tim Richmond was banned for failing a drug test. Years later Bill France Jr. admitted the test was probably wrong.

  9. I have personally met with Jereny Mayfield several times over the years. None of the accusations were true. I’m happy that he gets a little bit of recognition in the story that basically tells the whole story.

  10. Another Viewpoint

    Even though Mayfield may have been right about Brian France’s drug use, that does not mean he did not himself take banned substances. Even Mayfield himself admits to taking Adderall and pseudoephedrine (an ingredient of Claritin), both of which are classified as psychostimulants related to other stimulants including meth and cocaine. (And if Mayfield was merely suffering from allergies, there is a formulation of Claritin which does not contain pseudoephedrine.) In fact, pseudoephedrine is used in the manufacture of meth, which is why the federal government limits and monitors its sale by licensed pharmacists. And why use of pseudoephedrine often causes a positive test for meth. Other sports leagues ban Adderall unless the athlete has been granted a therapeutic use exemption, which entails more than a doctor’s prescription, since its use when not medically necessary is considered performance-enhancing.

    In other words, Mayfield is not some innocent lamb, whether he used methamphetamine or not. He is a driver who chose to use 2 potentially performance-enhancing drugs without proving that they were medically necessary. It is ironic that the same folks on FS who want wins stripped from drivers whose cars fail inspection by being a millimeter off in some obscure laser measurement, want to give a pass to a driver who intentionally took drugs he knew were considered performance-enhancing.

    No, Jeremy Mayfield does not deserve an apology from NASCAR or the team he drove for or the fans. BZF’s wrongs do not make Mayfield’s behavior right.

    • OwensborofriendandfanforLIFE

      You have GOT to be out of your mind if you in any way BELIEVE the BS you wrote! It’s rather obvious, you’ve NEVER had allergies NOR raced… NOR do you KNOW Jeremy! You stated “Mayfield himself admits to taking Adderall and pseudoephedrine (an ingredient of Claritin), both of which are classified as psychostimulants related to other stimulants including meth and cocaine” I know SEVERAL adults that are prescribed Adderall for medical issues, I do NOT know if Jeremy is or was using or had a prescription for that medication, but your comment about “Clairitin”… You’re joking right?!?!? My GRANDCHILDREN take Claritin at their pediatricians suggestion. There are certain allergies and hayfevers that REQUIRE certain medications be used to control…. the ONLY way it could be considered a “performance-enhancing” drug is because it stops the constant SNEEZING attacks, runny eyes and nose!!! Get a grip. I PERSONALLY believe Jeremy deserves an apology from NASCAR, the entire France Family and ALL his “fans” that actually believed the BS LIES France was spewing. Jeremy was a good friend growing up, I watched him race pretty much EVERYTHING with wheels, at all the tracks in our “home town area”. Never ONCE did I EVER see him use ANY “substance”. I NEVER believed the lies that were being said about him and after having seen him after all the accusations, I STILL believed he had NEVER been a Meth user. I’m GLAD “Karma” finally got France, and THRILLED the TRUTH is finally out about all his lies!

      • I agree 100% of your statement.

      • Another Viewpoint

        There is a reason many prescription drugs are banned by sports leagues. It isn’t because they are “evil” in and of themselves, but that they are potentially performance-enhancing. And any athlete who takes any drug, prescription or over-the counter is responsible to know what is in that drug and whether it is allowed within the rules of his sport. The NFL requires a medical waiver to take Adderall EVEN IF it prescribed by a doctor. And as I stated above, it is a simple matter to take Claritin without the added ingredient of pseudoephedrine – in fact, it is easier to buy Claritin without the booster of Sudafed, because Sudafed is regulated by federal law.

        The sad fact is that as substances are banned, athletes DO substitute other substances in an attempt to stay ahead of the rules and gain a competitive edge. When meth and steroids were banned, many pro athletes suddenly developed ADD and got phony prescriptions for Adderall as a substitute. I don’t know if that was the case with Mayfield, but it was still his responsibility to know what he was taking and whether it was allowable under NASCAR rules. Furthermore, when the drug causing a positive test turns out to be pseudoephedrine, more tests are routinely done to rule out meth and to determine the dosage of Sudafed taken. In cases where the athlete was suspended, it turned out that the amount of Sudafed in the test sample was well above the normal therapeutic dosage for nasal problems.

        And none of this has anything to do with BZF’s arrest. The fact that France abuses alcohol and prescription meds doesn’t excuse anyone else’s actions.

    • First….I was at that race in Richmond and suffered greatly from allergies that day. I am also taking Adderall after being diagnosed with ADD as an adult. I had NO idea that Claritan could do this to me until I learned about it through Mayfield’s story. Doctors don’t tell you this and I certainly didn’t expect an OTC allergy drug would create a false positive result for meth. You are ridiculous to accuse someone you don’t know of being an addict. You are no better than Brian France.

      • Nowhere in my comment did I say that Jeremy Mayfield was a drug addict, only that he knowingly took 2 performance-enhancing drugs. Most sports ban otherwise legal drugs if they are determined to be performance-enhancing, including such seemingly innocuous drugs as beta blockers for high blood pressure. And I also stated that there is a formulation of Claritin that relieves allergy symptoms without pseudoephedrine, which is most likely what the majority of allergy sufferers take. And finally and most importantly, the whole premise that Mayfield is innocent because BZF is guilty is so completely illogical that it defies any rational argument.

    • Jeremy tested positive for amphetamines not methamphetamine and there are hundreds of over the counter drugs in which can make you test positive. Jeremy has always said it wasn’t a failed test for meth but for amphetamines in which he has always stated it was due to Adderall prescribed by a dr. if he would of stopped taking the Adderall and Claritin and nascar would of tested him the following week he would have been clean. it only takes 72hrs for amphetamines or Claritin which at that time was made from pseudoephedrine to leave your system whether it be a urine or blood test. hair phollicall test are accurate up to 4 months from the time the drug was consumed or used. I have always believed Jeremy and have watched and read many interviews that he has done and he has always stated that he failed the drug test for amphetamines and not methamphetamines.

  11. To this day, you will never convince me that Jeremy was a drug addict. Especially meth. Its not difficult to figure out something isn’t right with a meth addict. When Jeremy was accused of being one, he showed none of the signs.

    I still believe to this day that any stories about Jeremy and meth were fabricated. Someone or some people with power wanted him gone from the sport because he was outspoken in the garage, especially over the whole Evernham issue. And given the update in this article, it proves even more to me he’s not. He’s still involved in racing and no meth addict would be able to have and keep enough money to keep that going. This whole deal was a farce from the beginning.

  12. LabCorp or Dr Black- I will take LabCorp everytime. What an obvious miscarriage of justice.

  13. I’m sorry, I have no sympathy for Jeremy Mayfield. Funny, this article doesn’t include any reference to him pleading guilty in 2014 to charges stemming from burglary and drug possession charges (involving meth). He burned his way out of Evernham Motorsports and his career spiraled from there. I think its a bit irresponsible for this article to accuse NASCAR of rigging his drug tests with no real proof. Brian France is getting what he deserves, but Mayfield is no martyr.

    • Have to agree with Upstate9fan. Just because BZF has finally run afoul of his own demons doesn’t exonerate anyone else. Some people are letting their dislike of BZF persuade them that everything he is involved with is tainted. Afraid that there aren’t too many good guys in this scenario.

    • There is proof. Because of the Waiver that drivers have to sign, it won’t ever be presented. Jeremy would’ve won the Court Case had it not been for the Dictators making sure that all the Drivers signed their rights away as a condition of being allowed to race.

    • You clearly didn’t follow this case closely or understand the situation that lead to him taking the Alford plea.

      “An Alford plea, in United States law, is a guilty plea in criminal court, whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence.”

      All of the alleged “stolen guns” found on Mayfield’s property were legally owned and registered to him AND were returned to him absent of any trial.

      In fact, there was literally nothing on his property that was confiscated that was proven to be stolen… NOTHING.

      I know it’s difficult to believe, but Brian France personally went after JM and performed one of the greatest character assassinations in all of sports.

      He knew if JM told everything he knew about him and the sport’s biggest stars, it would cause irreparable damage.

      The easiest way to ensure no one would believe him was to convince the world he was a crazy meth head.

      And THAT, my friend, is a fact.

    • You clearly didn’t follow the story as closely as you should have if you’re going to make these statements.

      If you did, you would know that JM plead guilty to an Alford plea, which does NOT admit to guilt, it states you believe you’re not guilty but are accepting an Alford plea to end the litigation and ongoing disruption to your life.

      Imagine a NASCAR driver that knows “where all the bodies are buried” and that Brian France knows he knows.

      What if, hypothetically, JM knew Brian France not only used drugs, but did so along with the biggest stars of the sport? Or that BF and other top level guys (think owners) were essentially drug trafficking? What if JM knew the deepest, darkest secrets about BF’s personal life, and l mean dark?

      Some might reason that BF would go to extraordinary measures to ensure that if JM ever did talk, no one would believe him.

      The easiest way to ensure no one would believe him was to convince the world he was a crazy meth head.

      What if…..

    • You sound like an idiot. There is more to the guilty plea than you know. . Go look it up. Also, have you not read that the cop involved in that invasion of Mayfield’s property in which the charges are stemmed, was killed in a motorcycle accident a few years later and they found meth and cocaine on this cop? Oh…and take a look at where the sheriff that was involved is today. Do your homework before you open your uneducated trap.

  14. The answer is YES!
    But he will never get it for fear of them losing a lawsuit

  15. “Does Everyone Owe Jeremy Mayfield An Apology?”

    Damn right they do. Will they? Probably not.