Mayfield Goes From Riches To Rags

By Brody Jones

Six years ago, Jeremy Mayfield reached the pinnacle of his career when he made the 2004 Nextel Cup Chase For The Cup. Flash forward to December 2010, and he now finds himself something of a pariah in NASCAR circles, thanks, in part, to a failed test for methamphetamine. Lately, it seems as if Jeremy Mayfield has been afflicted with Munchausen Syndrome, with very twisted and bizarre attempts to keep his name relevant in NASCAR circles as he continues his plight against NASCAR, trying to stick it to “the man”, so to speak. Unlike other drivers that were suspended for drug tests, that, for the most part, took their punishment without much complaint, Mayfield has been trying to blame everyone but himself for the failed drug test and comes across sounding like a conspiracy-theorist on the White House lawn, at his worst (at best, he sounds like Dale Gribble from “King Of The Hill”).
And as far as his excuses go, there have been some true duseys! First, he claimed that an “overdose” on Claritin-D and Adderall allegedly caused his positive test for methamphetamines when most experts clearly concur that is all but impossible. Next, after his step-mother alleges that she saw Jeremy using meth on several occasions, Mayfield absolutely was malicious toward her, calling her a “whore”, a “gold-digger”, and even implying that she killed his father. Whether these allegations hold truth or not remain to be seen, but to air your dirty laundry in public was a low-blow on Mayfield’s part.
It gets better, fellow readers. He has claimed that NASCAR has a “conspiracy” against him and that they “spiked the test”. Plus he claimed that NASCAR suspended him to “send a message to fellow drivers”. First off, I highly doubt NASCAR would put together an elaborate conspiracy against a lower mid-pack driver. Second of all, what motivation would NASCAR have to spike the test? Third, if they were sending a message to other drivers that Mayfield alleges were on drugs, then why haven’t we seen any other positive tests of other drivers since or, to a large degree, before then? Sure, there were some positive tests, most notably Shane Hmiel, Aaron Fike, and the sad story of Kevin Grubb among others, and even in the 80′s, Gary Balough had his issues with drugs. But drugs in NASCAR are not the wide-spread problem that Mayfield claims they are, which makes his plight equal parts amusing and pathetic at times.
The latest allegation he has made was that Brian France had him “intentionally” black-flagged from a race at Indianapolis in 2006, just days before he was released from Evernham Motorsports. Jeremy has had a track record of sticking his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion. He made some disparaging remarks about Roger Penske that got him released from Penske Racing. He also basically exposed the fact that Ray Evernham was dating one of his development drivers, Erin Crocker (they would later get married.) on the way out of the organization. And now that all hope seems to be gone for his racing career, he’s firing low-blows at the CEO of NASCAR? There’s an old saying that you can’t buck city hall, but I think Mayfield has been bucking, spitting in the face, and giving the middle finger to City Hall.
Probably the best thing for Mayfield to do, to save himself any kind of face in the court of public affairs, is to stop trying to fight NASCAR because, as experience shows, no one has ever fought NASCAR and won. Big Bill France scared away the Teamsters in the early 1960′s by threatening to plant corn in the Daytona infield and using a pistol to keep drivers from joining the union and quelled a similar union effort in 1969 at Talladega. Little Bill France had to fight off the efforts of a clearly-ill Tim Richmond in the late-80′s, and I don’t imagine Brian France would back down from similar efforts either. But, knowing the never-ending circus that has surrounded Mr. Mayfield, I don’t see this saga ending anytime soon.