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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mayfield’s harsh attacks invited stepmother’s lawsuit

Earlier this week, it appeared the Jeremy Mayfield saga, with its accusations of drug use, murder and who knows what else, might be going away for a while. The trial in the lawsuit Mayfield has filed against NASCAR now has a date, and it is pretty far off, as a trial jury begins Sept. 13, 2010.

There was a little bit more dirt added to the pile of accusations surrounding the case this week, as NASCAR said it has more witnesses that will say they saw Mayfield use methamphetamine.

But then the news came that Lisa Mayfield, the famous Wicked Stepmother whom Mayfield has vilified in the media since she publicly said she has seen him do the drug dozens of times since 1998, is fighting back, too. After she was named in court documents as a witness for NASCAR, Mayfield famously told the media: "She's basically a whore. She shot and killed my dad."

My advice to Jeremy Mayfield if anyone else comes out as a witness for NASCAR: Keep your mouth shut.

I recognize that he believes he is innocent and does not agree with what his former stepmom and others are saying, but there’s also a thing called common sense. Calling someone a whore and implicating them in a murder without any evidence isn’t the wisest move. The day these interviews were done, Jeremy was clearly very upset … and he should have been advised by his lawyers not to talk to the media at all.

The amount of money being sought by Lisa Mayfield is not excessive, but the last thing Jeremy needs right now is another distraction from his fight to clear his name, and perhaps one day get back in a racecar.

At this point, he is defeated in the first battle. His suspension was reinstated, he sold what was left of his race team (which has become the #08 car and oddly enough is being driven by “I thought he was retired” Terry Labonte), and now is focusing on the longer war – trying to prove his innocence in the drug test and embarrass NASCAR by exposing their drug testing policy as fundamentally flawed. That is a tall task, and one he will most likely fail to achieve, but he definitely does not need any distractions like extra lawsuits against him.

If he has any common sense, he will keep his mouth shut even when he’s angry, so he doesn’t create any more extra legal battles for himself.
Based on his past, though, I doubt he will keep quiet as things develop.

Where are the entries?
43 cars tried out at Pocono … for 43 spots. It’s been 5 years since this happened.
This got me thinking. What would happen if only 40 cars showed up one week? Would Brian France send a few extra mechanics down to Derrick Cope’s garage to get his car up to code? Maybe NASCAR would call up BAM racing and see if they wanted to return to Cup, offering a little help?

All kidding aside, it’s a sign of the times that we can barely fill fields some weeks. Some economists say the recession is at its bottom, and I hope they are right. Small teams don’t have money to build cars and that’s due to lack of sponsorship, which is due to the tough economy. Not only does a lack of cars make qualifying a bore (I love the whole, “Who’s gonna make it” aspect), but it makes the sport look bad when so few cars show up.

Big ratings
After watching an Indy race that was a parade led by Juan Pablo Montoya for most of the day, I was stunned to see that the race was the second highest rated of all races ever aired on ESPN … with 6.5 million viewers. I’ll credit that to a relentless marketing campaign by ESPN, because with the exception of the last 20 laps, that race was a stinkbomb.


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