Fight for the Right: Jeremy Mayfield to Sue NASCAR?

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IMay 17, 2009

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 20:  Jeremy Mayfield driver of the #41 All Sport Body Quencher Toyota stands on pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 20, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Last week, the NASCAR world was shocked with word that driver and owner of the No. 41 Toyota, Jeremy Mayfield, had been suspended indefinitely after failing a drug test.

Mayfield has since spoken out, saying it was a mixture of Clariton D and prescription medications that led to the failed test. NASCAR, on the other hand, denies his claim.

While they're confirmed the test failure wasn't a result of alcohol or steroids, NASCAR President Brian France won't confirm, despite driver appeals from Ryan Newman to Brian Vickers, what the substance was.

Mayfield also says he wasn't told what the substance was by NASCAR, but spokesman for the sport, Ramsey Poston, denies that.

"All NASCAR members who violate the policy, including Jeremy, are notified of the substance that caused the failure," Poston said.

"Jeremy was verbally informed of the substance on three occasions last week by NASCAR's medical review officer. NASCAR stands by the reputable physicians and the nationally renowned lab that handles our substance abuse program."

The driver and owner, who chose driver J.J. Yeley and wife Shana to replace him in those positions, respectively, was in attendance of the SPRINT All-Star race, and was once again on the defensive.

"Yeah, I'm denying it. Illegal drugs? Yeah, definitely."

Driver Jeff Burton, who is commonly very vocal on issues in the garage area, had advice for anyone on medication in the sport.

"If you're going to be doing something that's legal and seems innocent to you, you'd better be on the phone, and you'd better be proactive," Burton said. "It is your life. It is your career. It is your ability to make a living and it is your reputation, which at the end of the day, is everything you have."

Mayfield, who also believes NASCAR is ignoring the issue because the drug in question currently sponsors the No. 99 Ford of Carl Edwards, may sue the fastest growing auto racing sports group.

"I take a prescription drug, that's a legal prescription drug is what I take," the former five time race winner said.

"I had allergies at Richmond that were really, really bad. Thursday I got a call from [his doctor]. He said you tested positive for a certain whatever they call it. I said, 'OK, no problem. I've got all the paperwork ready.' He said if you fax it to us it'll cancel your [positive test].

"I faxed all my paperwork from them, got in the car [Friday for practice and qualifying at Darlington]. I didn't qualify for the race. Next thing I heard I got a call from Darby on Saturday."

Thanks to ESPN, the Los Angeles Times, Racing Reference and Jayski for the stats, information and quotes used in this piece.