Notebook: Mayfield's Case to Remain in Federal Court

Jim BobCorrespondent IApril 6, 2010

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 03:  Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #41 All Sport Body Quencher Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 3, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

The Jeremy Mayfield saga took another turn today as U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen ruled that the case between the suspended driver/owner and NASCAR will remain in federal court.

Mayfield originally filed the case against NASCAR in May after he failed a random drug test under NASCAR’s new substance abuse policy.  According to the sanctioning body, Mayfield was under the influence of methamphetamine.  However, Mayfield argues that the positive test was derived from a mixture of a prescription drug, Adderall, and an allergy medicine, Clairton-D.

Mayfield requested that the case be moved back to the North Carolina Superior Court after the trial was moved to federal court by the request of NASCAR, arguing that NASCAR vice president Brian France listed Florida and North Carolina as residencies, but didn’t specify which one was his primary residence.  Mayfield claimed that France changed his primary residence in order to move the case from state to federal court.

“The Court finds that Mr. France made an honest mistake in signing the state court filing in which he claimed to be a citizen of Florida and North Carolina,” Mullen wrote in his decision. “The error might portray carelessness on the part of Mr. France and his lawyer, but it does not eviscerate Mr. France’s credibility.”

The earliest date a trial could start on the matter is Sept. 13. No official date has been set on the court docket.

“Now that we have got the delay tactics out of the way, we are looking forward to the judge focusing on our motion to dismiss, and to the extent necessary, the discovery phase so that we can add to the mountain of evidence against Mayfield with which to try the case,” Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s managing director of communications, said in a statement.

The case has been at a standstill since January as the two sides awaited Mullen’s decision today on France’s jurisdiction.  France provided his Florida driver license, two vehicle registrations from Florida, his Florida voting record and his 2008 income tax return as evidence to prove that his primary residence was in the state of Florida.

Edwards to make 200th Cup Series start

This weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway will mark the 200th time Carl Edwards has started a Sprint Cup Series race.

“It is pretty unbelievable that it’s my 200th start,” Edwards said.  “I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to race these cars.  Like most racers I just dreamed about being able to compete at the level I’m racing at and win.

“There’s no better place for me to have a milestone start like this than at Phoenix.  That is where I ran my first-ever pavement race in 2001.  That was a big day for me, so to think almost 10 years have passed since I pulled my little trailer in with all my hopes and dreams, and set up my tent down in turn one to work on my USAC Silver Crown car.  Almost all that stuff has come true, although we still need to win a Cup championship.  But 200 starts and a bunch of wins is a good start.  That will be fun to strap in the car on Saturday and think about all that.”

Edwards got off to a quick start in his career, in which he has amassed 16 wins, 61 top-five, 102 top-10 finishes, since he finished 10th at Michigan International Speedway in his Sprint Cup Series career debut back in 2004.

Sadler set to make 400th Cup Series career start

It will have been 400 Sprint Cup Series races since Elliott Sadler started his career on May 24, 1998 at Charlotte Motor Speedway once he starts the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix this weekend.

“I honestly can’t believe this weekend will mark my 400th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start,” Sadler said. “I’m really fortunate to be able to be in this position. I get to do a job I really love, work with really great people and I’ve been able to win some races along the way. It’s crazy though how fast time has gone by since my first full season in 1999.”

Sadler has garnered 3 wins, 19 top-five and 68 top-ten finishes in his career.