Jeremy Mayfield

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Jeremy Allen Mayfield
JeremyMayfieldWinner.jpg
Born (1969-05-27) May 27, 1969 (age 45)
Owensboro, Kentucky, United States
Awards 1993 ARCA Rookie of the Year
1987 Kentucky Motor Speedway Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
433 race(s) run over 17 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
7th (1998)
First race 1993 Mello Yello 500 (Charlotte)
Last race 2009 Crown Royal Presents the Russell Friedman 400 (Richmond)
First win 1998 Pocono 500 (Pocono)
Last win 2005 GFS Marketplace 400 (Michigan)
Wins Top tens Poles
5 96 9
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
36 race(s) run over 6 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
43rd (1996)
First race 1995 Goodwrench 200 (Rockingham)
Last race 2006 Stater Brothers 300 (Fontana)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 5 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
3 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
65th (2006)
First race 2003 Hardee's 200 (Charlotte)
Last race 2006 EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
Statistics current as of December 19, 2012.

Jeremy Allen Mayfield (born May 27, 1969) is a former NASCAR driver who last competed in 2009 due to legal troubles and an indefinite suspension by NASCAR. Prior to 2009, Mayfield drove cars for the Sadler Brothers, T.W. Taylor, Cale Yarborough, Michael Kranefuss, Roger Penske, Ray Evernham, Bill Davis, and Gene Haas. He last drove for his own team, Mayfield Motorsports, before his suspension.

On May 9, 2009, Mayfield was suspended indefinitely as both owner and driver by NASCAR following what NASCAR said was a positive test for methamphetamine.[1][2][3] A federal judge weighed the evidence and subsequently temporarily lifted the suspension on July 1, 2009. On July 15, 2009, it was revealed by NASCAR that Mayfield had for the second time tested positive for methamphetamine after failing a random drug test on July 6.[4] On July 24, a federal appeals court overturned the previous injunction Mayfield had been awarded, leaving him suspended from the sport.

Racing career[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Mayfield began racing in his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, racing BMX bicycles. He then proceeded to race go-karts at local Short tracks; moving to Nashville Speedway USA at the age of 19. He soon went to work for Sadler Brothers Racing as a fabricator, and became their driver, winning Late Model Rookie of the Year at Kentucky Motor Speedway in 1987.

In 1993, he joined the ARCA series, and was named Rookie of the Year.

NASCAR[edit]

Mayfield made his Cup debut in the 1993 Mello Yello 500; starting 30th and finishing 29th in the #95 Earl Sadler-owned Mac Tools Ford Thunderbird. In 1994, Mayfield declared he would run for NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year, and signed to drive the Sadler Brothers' #95 Shoney's Ford. He struggled heavily in 1995, and was released. He signed to drive the #02 for T.W. Taylor, sponsored by Children's Miracle Network for four races before completing the year in the #98 Fingerhut Ford for Cale Yarborough. He ran 20 starts in his inaugural season, his best finish a 19th at Rockingham. In 1995, he stayed with Yarborough full-time with new sponsorship from RCA, and had an eighth place run at the Miller Genuine Draft 500, with a 31st place finish in the points standings after qualifying for 27 out of 31 races. The next season, he had two top-fives and earned his first career pole at the DieHard 500 Later that season, he was released and replaced John Andretti in the #37 Kmart/Little Caesars Ford owned by Michael Kranefuss. Mayfield ended the year 26th in points.

1997 racecar

Mayfield returned to the Kranefuss team in 1997. He had eight top tens, including two fifth-place runs, and finished a then career-high 13th place in points. After the season, Kranefuss sold part of the team to Penske Racing South, and the team's identity was switched, with a new number (#12) and new sponsor in Mobil 1. Mayfield took the points lead early in the season, and won his first career race at the Pocono 500. At the end of the season, he was seventh in points. He was unable to replicate his success in 1999, and dropped four spots in the standings, despite twelve top-tens. In 2000, he won four poles and two races. Mayfield's second Cup series win (his first win of 2000 though) is probably the most famous of all his wins, as he bumped Dale Earnhardt out of the lead with 2 turns to go and then used Earnhardt's famous "Rattle his cage" line against Earnhardt in victory lane.

One of the poles, however, was at the DieHard 500, and the car was found to have violated the rules with an illegal fuel substance, and penalties resulted in the team earning -25 points from the race (his 126 points, earned by finishing 14th and leading a lap, were offset by the 151 point penalty NASCAR handed down). Later, while practicing for the Brickyard 400, he crashed hard into the wall. He suffered a concussion, and was forced to miss the next two races. He finished 24th in points that season.

He began 2001 with two consecutive third-place finishes, but his performance fell off, and was released after the Protection One 400. Rumors circulated around the garage that he and Rusty Wallace feuded several times and didn't see head to head as teammates and burned bridges with Roger Penske. He sat out the rest of the season after signing a new deal with Ray Evernham's team.

In 2002, Mayfield signed to Evernham Motorsports, replacing Casey Atwood. In his first year, Mayfield had just four top-tens and finished 26th in points. He rebounded slightly in 2003, winning the pole at the Aaron's 499 and posting 12 top-tens, finishing nineteenth in points. In 2004, Mayfield returned to victory lane at the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 earning his team the ninth spot in the inaugural Chase for the Cup, and finished tenth in points. For a while, winning a race to get into the Chase was referred by the moniker "pulling a Jeremy Mayfield."[5] In 2005, he won the GFS Marketplace 400, and finished ninth in the standings. In August 2006 he was released from Evernham after his team fell out of the top-35 in owner points, and replaced by Bill Elliott and then Elliott Sadler.

Mayfield signed a contract with Bill Davis Racing for 2007, driving the #36 Toyota Camry with primary sponsorship from 360 OTC. Associate sponsors included World Wrestling Entertainment, the TNT television network, and rock band Kiss.[6] He ran a total of 13 races for Bill Davis Racing in 32 attempts with a best finish of 22nd at Kansas Speedway. In August 2007, it was announced that Mayfield and Davis would part ways at the end of the season. Later in the season, he would take over driving the #66 Best Buy car for Haas CNC Racing starting with Atlanta 2007. Late in 2007, he and teammate Scott Riggs would switch rides with Mayfield ending up in the #70 car for the 2008 season.[7]

2008 racecar

Mayfield completed seven races in the #70 with a best finish of sixteenth before he was released from the team. He would complete one additional race at Dover in the #40 Target Dodge, filling in for the injured Dario Franchitti. He would start tenth and finish twenty-fifth.

In January 2009, Mayfield announced that he would attempt the full season in a self-owned Toyota, using the number 41. He raced his way into the Daytona 500. After ten races in the 2009 season, Mayfield qualified for just five. He was then embroiled in a substance abuse dispute that, for all intents and purposes, ended his NASCAR career. By July 2009, Mayfield had sold his race team and operations due to lack of sponsorship, and the last remaining member of his crew resigned after all other members of the race team were laid off.

During his NASCAR career, Mayfield had 36 career Nationwide Series starts. He had five top tens, his best finish being a fourth at Rockingham in 2003. He also had three Craftsman Truck Series starts, with a best finish of 6th at the 2003 Hardee's 200 for Green Light Racing. After his release from Evernham in 2006, he drove for Billy Ballew Motorsports in a pair of truck races.

Life after NASCAR[edit]

Mayfield was working as a delivery person in while waiting for word on his appeals.[8] By 2011, tax officials in Catawba County, North Carolina were on the verge of foreclosing on Mayfield's 388-acre spread there because he owed $82,000 in back taxes.[9] In 2012, Mayfield was evicted from his home. On December 19, 2013, firefighters burnt down Mayfield's former mansion in a controlled burn.[10] On January 6, 2014, Mayfield was convicted on two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count for possessing stolen items, receiving 18 months of unsupervised probation, and was ordered to pay $88,124.41, adding an extra $1,100 in court costs.[11]

Mayfield currently races in the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Tour, making his debut in the series' inaugural race at Hickory Motor Speedway.[12] In May 2014, Mayfield released a video, titled "The Mayfield Story", to explain the substance abuse controversy from his point of view.[13]

In July 2014, Mayfield returned to organized racing competition, driving in an Pro Cup Series event at Tri-County Motor Speedway and finishing seventh of the ten cars that started.[14]

Controversies[edit]

Release from Evernham Motorsports[edit]

On August 8, 2006, Mayfield learned through NASCAR.com that he was not placed onto the entry list for Watkins Glen, instead replaced by former Evernham driver Bill Elliott. Discussions of a move to Bill Davis Racing by Mayfield in the preceding month or two before, as well as the #19 team falling out of the top 35 in points were initially given as reasons for Mayfield's release, to make this transition sooner than later.[15] Evernham later confirmed that Mayfield had been released from his contract after making comments about Evernham not being at the track often. Mayfield later stated that the problems with the 19 car stemmed from lack of attention from the team owner due to a "close personal relationship" with developmental driver Erin Crocker. Mayfield stated that Evernham was not with the Cup cars most weeks because of the extensive attention that he was giving Crocker and her #98 truck team. Evernham later admitted that he was seriously involved in an affair with Crocker, whom he married in 2009.[16]

Substance abuse violation[edit]

On May 9, 2009, Mayfield was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. Mayfield stated, "I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My Doctor and I are working with both NASCAR consultant Dr. David Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter." Mayfield Motorsports named former Hall of Fame Racing team driver J.J. Yeley as interim driver and Jeremy's wife Shana as the interim owner.[17]

David Black, whose company oversees NASCAR's testing program, disputed Mayfield's claims, stating, "What we have is a clear violation of policy. In my many years of experience, I have never seen a violation like this due to the combination of over-the-counter or prescription products." Owing to NASCAR policy, Dr. Black refused to specify the substance for which Mayfield tested positive, instead saying it was "a drug of concern."

However, at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race the week after his suspension, Mayfield publicly stated that he had only taken two tablets of Claritin-D & the prescription drug Adderall, which he stated was prescribed to assist his attention deficit disorder,[13] and that he had never used any sort of illegal drug. His wife and crew chief backed these claims. Afterwards, criticism of NASCAR's testing policy became rampant, and several suggested that NASCAR's secrecy over Mayfield's results was politically motivated, so as to not smear the reputation of Claritin, who was a sponsor of Carl Edwards and NASCAR on Fox at the time. To this day, Mayfield refuses to enter NASCAR's rehabilitation program, and has alluded to legal action against NASCAR.[18]

On June 9, 2009, ESPN.com stated that during the random drug screening on May 1 at Richmond International Raceway, Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine.[19]

On July 1, 2009, US District Court Judge Graham Mullen granted a temporary injunction, lifting Mayfield's suspension. Mullen concluded that the "likelihood of a false positive in this case is quite substantial." In granting the injunction, Mullen ruled that the "harm to Mr. Mayfield significantly outweighs the harm to NASCAR".[20] Even with the injunction, Mayfield was forced to sit out the Coke Zero 400 and Lifelock 400 for want of a sponsor.[21]

On July 15, 2009, NASCAR stated that Mayfield had again tested positive for methamphetamine during testing on July 6, five days after his suspension was lifted. Mayfield's stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, stated that she had seen him use methamphetamine many times since 1998. Mayfield has refuted these allegations. Despite two positive tests, Mayfield continues to deny ever using the drug, blaming the results on ingestion of the OTC drug Claritin D.[22] Additionally, Mayfield took a drug test 40 minutes after NASCAR's, this time with an office not affiliated with NASCAR, and it was negative. A doctor from Florida stated that it was impossible for Mayfield to use the levels of methamphetamine NASCAR claimed he did, or else he would be dead or a chronic user.[23] According to an independent medical professional in Central Florida, the combination of medications cited by Mayfield has a 15% chance of a false positive being obtained.

A federal appeals court reversed Mayfield's injunction on July 24, 2009. On May 18, 2010, Mullen threw out Mayfield's suit, saying that Mayfield waived his right to sue NASCAR when he agreed to take part in NASCAR events.

Dog attack[edit]

On April 22, 2011, five dogs owned by Mayfield attacked a female mail carrier who was carrying a package to the front porch. She received several scratches and bite marks on her legs. The dogs were quarantined. On May 10, 2012, Mayfield was ordered to pay $1 million in the lawsuit of the dog attacks on the postal worker. The dogs were then euthanized.[24]

2011 arrest[edit]

On November 1, 2011 sheriff's deputies searched Mayfield's home in Catawba County after getting a tip that Mayfield and four accomplices were staging burglaries to support Mayfield's methamphetamine habit.[25] Mayfield was taken into custody after deputies found 1.5 grams of meth in a safe. Authorities later found $100,000 worth of stolen goods in Mayfield's home. Among the recovered items were heavy machinery that had been reported stolen from two businesses in neighboring Lincoln County in late 2010 and early 2011, as well as audiovisual equipment that had been stolen from Red Bull Racing Team in nearby Mooresville in February 2011.[26]

In popular media[edit]

Mayfield is featured in the video for "Drowning (Face Down)" by the band Saving Abel.[27]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Daytona 500 results[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1994 Sadler Brothers Racing Ford 40 30
1995 Cale Yarborough Motorsports Ford 29 35
1996 14 19
1997 Kranefuss-Haas Racing Ford 21 6
1998 13 3
1999 Penske-Kranefuss Racing 6 20
1200094 19 11
2001 Penske Racing South Dodge 38 9
2002 Evernham Motorsports Dodge 28 39
2003 20 8
2004 22 25
2005 24 23
2006 26 36
2007 Bill Davis Racing Toyota DNQ
2008 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet 33 23
2009 Mayfield Motorsports Toyota 18 40

Busch Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Joe Menzer (2009-05-16). "Mayfield still trying to understand his suspension - May 16, 2009". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ [3][dead link]
  5. ^ Marty Smith, NASCAR.COM (2005-09-06). "Last Lap: In or out? - Sep 6, 2005". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  6. ^ NASCAR.COM - Mayfield heading to Bill Davis Racing in '07? - Aug 5, 2006
  7. ^ Mayfield replacing Green at Haas CNC Racing - Sprint Cup Series | SceneDaily.com - NASCAR News
  8. ^ David Newton (2010-09-11). "Jeremy Mayfield's 2004 Chase-clinching miracle was legendary - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  9. ^ Russell, Dedrick (2011-11-04). "Jeremy Mayfield $82,000 behind in taxes, close to foreclosure". WBTV. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ Faherty, Dave (December 11, 2013). "Jeremy Mayfield's $1.3M mansion to be burned down". WSOC-TV. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Long, Dustin (January 6, 2014). "Mayfield Convicted on Three Counts". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ "BeBevCo's KOMA Unwind Partners With Racing Veteran Jeremy Mayfield". Reuters. May 20, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Larson, Mike (May 6, 2014). "Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield tells his side of drug story". Autoweek. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ "2014 Precision Printed Products 250". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2014-08-05. 
  15. ^ David Newton, NASCAR.COM (2006-08-08). "Elliott to replace Mayfield in No. 19 at The Glen - Aug 8, 2006". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  16. ^ "ESPN - Evernhams live happily ever after". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-07-27. 
  17. ^ "Mayfield suspended by NASCAR". Autosport.com. 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  18. ^ Perez, A.J. (2009-05-11). "NASCAR's drug tester disputes Mayfield's 'allergy' claim". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  19. ^ "Sources: Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine". ESPN.com. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  20. ^ "Judge lifts suspension, says Mayfield can race". ESPN. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  21. ^ Newton, David; Blount, Terry. Attorney: Mayfield can't find sponsor. ESPN, 2009-07-09.
  22. ^ "NASCAR: Mayfield failed test again". Autosport.com. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  23. ^ [4][dead link]
  24. ^ Hewlett, Michael (May 9, 2012). "Postal worker wins $1 million from former NASCAR driver Mayfield in dog attack". Morganton News Herald. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  25. ^ Russell, Dedrick (2011-11-03). "Search warrant revealed in Jeremy Mayfield's alleged theft ring". WBTV. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  26. ^ Needham, Nick (2011-11-02). "Items stolen from race team among meth and guns in Jeremy Mayfield's home, police say". WBTV. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ "New Video – Saving Abel – Drowning (Face Down) « Hard Rock Hideout". Hardrockhideout.com. Retrieved 2012-09-14. 

External links[edit]