Jeremy Mayfield Wins Court Injunction to Return To Racing

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJuly 1, 2009

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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Throughout the accusations by NASCAR of violation of the sport's substance abuse policy and his subsequent suspension by the sanctioning body, Jeremy Mayfield has maintained his innocence.  He has also fought every step along the way for the right to return to the track.

Mayfield won at least a part of his battle, receiving a temporary injunction from a judge that effectively lifted his suspension, at least for now.  The end result is that Mayfield can return to racing immediately, just in time for the July 4 race weekend in Daytona.

The judge, Graham Mullen, ruled that there is a likelihood of a false positive in the Mayfield case.  The NASCAR Sprint Cup driver has been arguing just that, claiming that a combination of a drug that he was taking for ADD and an allergy medication caused the false positive in a NASCAR random drug test.

NASCAR, however, reacted quickly after receiving the results of Mayfield's drug test.  As soon as the primary and secondary samples submitted by Mayfield came back positive, NASCAR immediately suspended Mayfield and banned him from the track.

Obviously, Mayfield was ecstatic with the judge's ruling.  He and his wife Shana embraced outside the court house, with Mayfield sharing that this was "huge for us."

In spite of Mayfield's victory in court, there is still doubt as to whether or not he will be able to race in Daytona.  Mayfield's shop has been shuttered and sponsorship has all but dried up.

Mayfield's finances are tight, having to spend money on legal fees instead of engines and tires.  He has admitted that he may not have the funding to bring his team's car back onto the racing scene.

Timing is also an issue, according to Mayfield.  With the Cup race scheduled for Saturday evening, and given the fact that Mayfield would have to qualify his way into the show, there simply may not be enough hours in the day to get Mayfield back into the seat of a race car.

Mayfield has also missed the deadline for registering for the race. However, he could go in as a late entry.  There are also some reports that rather than try to organize his own effort to go back racing, Mayfield may instead try to negotiate a ride in another team's cars.

If Mayfield does indeed show up in Daytona, his reception there may also be mixed.  Several drivers have gone on record sharing their concerns about racing with anyone under the influence of any type of medication, so the reactions of Mayfield's peers may be cool at best.

Fan reaction could also be mixed.  Many fans have vigorously defended Mayfield, while others have written him off as the "meth head" that is being alleged.

NASCAR, as expected, is disappointed in the ruling.  NASCAR's Chairman Brian France said, "We're disappointed, but we will honor the court's wishes."

There is late word, however, that NASCAR is still considering their options as to how they will respond to this injunction.  NASCAR's choices appear to either be to honor the injunction or appeal the decision in some way.

This latest development is just another twist and turn in the legal proceedings that have dragged on in the Mayfield case.  And with the permission to return back to the track, the Mayfield saga is destined to continue, both on and off the track.

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