Jeremy Mayfield Vs. NASCAR: What Is the Motivation?

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IJuly 17, 2009

HAMPTON, GA - OCTOBER 27: Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #66 Best Buy Chevrolet, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Pepboys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2007 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The saga of Jeremy Mayfield vs. NASCAR has recently taken further twists and turns. The latest development is that NASCAR has filed suit to reinstate the ban of Mayfield from competition, based on violation of the sport's substance abuse policy.

NASCAR filed its motion based on a drug test recently administered. According to the sanctioning body, the results were positive for methamphetamine use.

NASCAR also submitted testimony from Mayfield's stepmother, in which she alleges she observed him abusing drugs. The stepmother further alleges Mayfield used drugs regularly and also while at the track.

As has been typical with this saga, all of the allegations have been vehemently contested by Mayfield and his attorney. Mayfield has disputed the drug test results, contending instead that he has drug tests taken from samples before and after the NASCAR sample that tested negative for methamphetamine use.

In an even stranger turn, Mayfield called the Sirius satellite radio show Late Shift to proclaim his innocence yet again. Not only did he do just that, but he also claimed that NASCAR has had it out for him and that Brian France is a drug user himself.

Mayfield then went on to refute his stepmother's allegations, saying she has always had a vendetta against him since he refused to give her money. Even more bizarre, Mayfield alleged that this stepmother had actually murdered his father.

With these most recent developments, heads are spinning for most NASCAR fans, who just do not know what to make of these latest allegations. Fans, the media, and other drivers and teams have been left trying to figure out where the truth lies.

Many are simply wondering what could be the motivation on either side of the coin, whether it be Mayfield's claim that NASCAR has a vendetta against him or Mayfield's most passionate denials of any form of substance abuse.

As for NASCAR, fans are also grappling with what could be the sanctioning body's motivation for singling out Mayfield as the poster child for their new substance abuse policy. Mayfield alleges that other drivers have "tested positive," yet he is the only one that is being made the scapegoat by NASCAR.

But why would NASCAR do that? Has Mayfield done something so heinous that NASCAR has decided to come down on him and only him?

Perhaps there is a kernel of truth in this possible motivation. Mayfield does indeed have a history in the garage area.

For example, Mayfield most certainly spoke his mind with Roger Penske when he was with that team. Those comments subsequently caused Mayfield to leave that team. 

Mayfield also had a great deal to say about owner Ray Evernham, alleging that his relationship with up-and-coming driver Erin Crocker was taking his focus off racing. After those comments, Mayfield was subsequently let go from the Evernham camp.

So, have these issues caught up to Mayfield? Has NASCAR decided that, in order to pay for his actions, he has to be the first driver singled out for a substance abuse violation.

Or has NASCAR dug itself into a hole with the allegation of substance abuse against Mayfield and, because it has gone so far, feels it can't back down? 

Has Mayfield become the test case for the entire sport's substance abuse policy, and NASCAR cannot turn back from what it has set in motion?

On the flip side, what is Mayfield's motivation in fighting so strongly against the substance abuse allegation? Is it because he is truly innocent?

Or is Mayfield in the throes of the most typical behavior plaguing all drug addicts, absolute and utter denial? Could it be that Mayfield is in such denial about his drug use that he has to fight vociferously against the light that has been shone on his addiction?

The motivational scenarios seem endless at this point. Yet no one, perhaps not even NASCAR or Mayfield, may ever know the true motivations at this point, especially given the latest twists and turns of events.

Whatever the motivation on either side, NASCAR and Jeremy Mayfield now are both most firmly entrenched in their positions. The saga promises to not only continue but to also get uglier and uglier in the process.


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