When Jeremy Mayfield first took NASCAR to court, I said he was either innocent or crazy. I must amend that now after the Wednesday developments in the case: Either he is innocent, or he is an extreme addict.
The story that keeps on twisting took some turns Wednesday that were so shocking, no one saw them coming.
First, the predictable news was that Mayfield had failed the test he had taken at his home July 6. That is the test they said he delayed for hours, and appeared very diluted, indicating he had ingested large amounts of water to cover up and possible drug use.
At issue is the legitimacy of the testing. Mayfield said the NASCAR tests don’t confirm what his own tests have shown since his suspension. His tests are clean, but NASCAR’s tests are dirty, and they claim the laboratories Mayfield is using are not qualified to analyze the samples.
Then, the unpredictable happened. Mayfield didn’t wait for court to give his side of the story. He talked with several members of the media, and let it all hang out.
Among the highlights:
-- Mayfield hinted that Brian France, the man leading the fight to keep him off the track, is himself a drug abuser.
-- Mayfield indicated that his stepmother, who in court documents said she saw Mayfield cook and use methamphetamine as far back as the late 1990s, was responsible for the death of his father in 2007. He said he would file wrongful death suit Thursday.
-- Mayfield said he had done two drug tests that same day, July 6, and both had come back clean.
I knew this would be a dirty fight from the start. It has now descended into something much more than that … an all-out war.
Mayfield’s career is pretty much over at this point. Even if he could somehow get the judge to keep the injunction allowing him to race intact, he has no team at this point because they have all been fired or quit. As far as getting a sponsor and getting restarted, that’s hard to do for established teams, let alone a two-time drug test failer.
So we are beyond the point of, “Will Jeremy get back to racing?’
We are now at the point of war between Brian France/NASCAR and Jeremy Mayfield. Both sides are pulling no punches.
In NASCAR’s court documents, they quote Lisa Mayfield, who was married to Jeremy’s father Terry Mayfield at the time of his death, as saying she saw Mayfield manufacture methamphetamine and use the drug dozens of times. They are clearly going for the throat, digging up every bit of dirt they can on Mayfield in an effort to expose him so negatively he won’t ever have a shot at racing again.
Mayfield, though, took a page from the book of Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (“You wanna go to war? I’ll take you to war”) and fired off several shots back at the sport.
Regarding his stepmom, he indicated she was paid for her statement, and boldly told ESPN: "She's basically a whore. She shot and killed my dad. She knows what we've got on her. For her to come out and do this is pretty ballsy. Everybody that's ever know me knows I never, ever have been around her for more than 10 hours of my life. She's a gold digger. I knew that from Day 1."
Mayfield indicated Wednesday that Lisa Mayfield would be served with a wrongful death suit on Thursday.
That’s only the first doozy. Mayfield went straight for the man in charge, hinting that Brian France had a drug problem. I’m guessing he figured that if his name is going to get trashed, so should France’s name.
"Brian France talking about effective drug programs is like having Al Capone talking about effective law enforcement," Mayfield said.
I know one thing. If I’m trying to get my job back, I certainly wouldn’t call my boss a drug addict. Mayfield has realized his career is over, and is going for the jugular in retaliation.
Who knows, maybe he’s right about France? Maybe an independent laboratory should send a pee cup over to Daytona headquarters tomorrow?
I’m not serious in that suggestion, but it might be wise for Mayfield to pursue that strategy in court. After all, shouldn’t the guy running the multi-billion dollar sport of NASCAR have a clear head? That’s only common sense, right? The drivers’ lives are at the mercy of his rules.
What’s clear now is that this has become more than a question of whether Jeremy Mayfield should be racing … It is now an extremely personal case that involves accusations unheard in previous NASCAR controversies.
The bottom line: Despite the failed drug tests and accusations being leveled, Jeremy Mayfield continues to maintain his innocence and will fight to the death to defend his honor.
"They're playing this high school [expletive], they better be ready," Mayfield said Wednesday. "I'm coming after them in a big way. I'm prepared to go all the way and have the backing to do it if it takes everything I've got. I'm not going to back down for something I didn't do."
At this point, Mayfield’s innocence is highly unlikely, given his behavior at the testing and his seemingly irrational comments. But part of me doesn’t want to totally give up on him.There is one question that keeps going through my mind: How can a man claim his innocence so strongly when he is still using? It’s mindboggling to think about, but I suppose his addiction could be so strong that he just can’t stop. Or alternatively, he is getting blackballed by NASCAR worse than anyone since Tim Richmond.
Time will tell, and this will only get uglier before it’s done. That’s one thing you can bet on.
And in the very end, Mayfield will probably end up as defeated as Tony Montana was in "Scarface".https://twitter.com/MattMyftiu