Friday, May 22, 2009

(Updated) NASCAR Media May Not Be Taking This Friday Off After All


Confirmed: No Mayfield lawsuit filed by the close of business on Friday. NASCAR fans can actually watch the racing and leave the legal drama until next week.

Updated: NASCAR has called a mandatory meeting of all licensed Sprint Cup Series drivers for Tuesday morning at the Research & Development Center in Concord, NC. The rumor is this closed-door meeting will address the current drug policy issues. TDP now has confirmation that Brian France and Mike Helton will be at the meeting in which drivers can ask any questions. NASCAR spokesman referring to the format as "town hall style."

Thursday was a big day at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman earned the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 and SPEED was on the air with NASCAR from noon through 9:30PM.

On this very unique week, the LMS track is dark on Friday as the racing focus shifts across the street to the dirt track. The SPEED TV crew follows the racing for live sprint car coverage that begins at 8PM.

The SPEED Stage rolls down the road to downtown Charlotte for the annual event called Speed Street. The Trackside bunch leaves the confines of the track and takes their act into the rowdy crowd for what should be a memorable 7PM live show. Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR Hall of Fame Director Winston Kelly are the featured guests.

The traveling NASCAR media began Thursday with the dedication of the deadline media room at the LMS infield media center in the name of David Poole. The picture above is posted courtesy of David Yeazell at The Bleacher Report, a great sports website. Poole was a strong presence on the NASCAR scene and the media dynamic of the sport is still trying to sort itself out after his passing.

While normally busy on Fridays at the track, that same deadline media bunch may now find their planned day-off rudely interrupted. It will not be by racing news, but by another chapter in the increasingly difficult to understand saga of Jeremy Mayfield.

Bill Diehl, who is Mayfield's attorney, has hinted that he may start legal action against NASCAR on Friday in a North Carolina court. It seems that Mr. Diehl is very skilled at using the media for maximum publicity in support of his client.

He appeared on Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody to issue veiled threats that NASCAR had defamed his client and once again suggested that Mayfield did not consume any recreational drug as publicly alleged by NASCAR Chairman Brian France.

While this may be a complete headache to many fans, it is big news in terms of the first official challenge to a complex and sophisticated drug testing plan newly installed by NASCAR for this season. What topic Diehl chooses to attack may finally signal for all the direction Mayfield will be taking in his legal challenge.

Unfortunately for Diehl, there is no NASCAR Now program on Friday and the only live NASCAR show scheduled for SPEED is Trackside. To make the ESPNEWS line-up or crack into SportsCenter at this time of the year, Mayfield's allegations against NASCAR would have to be earth-shattering.

It will be the Internet that carries the Friday Mayfield news and not TV. The same tired journalists who spent a long Thursday at the track will no doubt be front and center as this ugly confrontation continues to escalate. TDP will create a new post if and when all of this begins to happen.

Diehl might be well-advised to consider taking the holiday weekend to talk things over with Mayfield instead of using the off-day to try and generate even more media coverage of this issue. Fans are sounding-off in loud numbers that all this drama is turning them against Mayfield simply because of the half-truths and confusing allegations by him since the suspension was announced.

Marty Smith, Jenna Fryer, Bob Pockrass, Mike Mulhern and the rest of the media bunch were looking forward to a nice day off. Instead, they may well find themselves back on the phone and typing on the computer if Diehl follows through on his threat.

TDP welcomes your comments on these topics. Just click the comments button to add your opinion. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

59 comments:

trish in nc said...

Very fitting to honor David with the Poole Room. Keep it full of frees snacks & the room will always be a happy place. He is already missed in his articles & radio and in his other journeys

Anonymous said...

I think Diehl will do basically what he did with Sadler -- start raising a ruckus. He'll throw anything and everything but the kitchen sink at NASCAR until they just get to the point where they say "let's just write this guy a check so he leaves us alone."

Mayfield has no chance of re-instatement. The Aegis test is rock solid or else the CEO wouldn't have personally backed it time and again, so his lawyer has probably already surmised that with his career over (unless he is willing to rehab, which it seems he isn't) the best that they can do for him is get him a fat payday.

I hope NASCAR, for the sake of their program, digs deep into their pockets and pays their lawyers whatever it takes to make their very good case hold up. I hope they do not buckle to Mayfield's bigshot attorney and all the expensive actions he will file. They should invest in their future and their program by fighting this.

In my opnion, Mayfield is pinched and the only thing a lawyer can do at this point is (maybe) get him some cash.

Karen said...

Anon @12:02, NASCAR shouldn't give him a fat payday. Why should they roll over? Dr. Black and Aegis will never let that happen no matter how much the "bigshot" attorney throws at them. It's expensive to litigate and JM could never keep up with that. NASCAR's got the bucks, Jeremy doesn't and Diehl is no fool. He's fighting a losing battle.

Daly Planet Editor said...

That is what makes no sense about the Mayfield case. If he had ingested something, even once, the path to getting back into the sport is clear.

Mayfield's insistence that he has never been involved with any illegal or performance-enhancing drugs is what gets everyone's attention.

The only thing that will give this debate some direction is naming the drug. As many have said in prior posts, there is a wide swing between Viagra and Heroin.

No matter how hard Mayfield and Diehl argue the what, when, why, where and how, fans and the media will never truly be informed unless Mayfield tell us the "what" and names the drug.

JD

Anonymous said...

I think it should've been called the Poole Hall. David had some when it came to some of his stories.

As to the Mayfield deal, I did some checking and he could be totally innocent as he says he is. There's a list of over 60 substances and some medical conditions that will give a false positive. Plus the testing lab isn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer either.They seemed to have missed something when it came to pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who had a case of "roid rage" and killed himself and his family.

But as usual in the world of NASCAR, even if you're innocent, you're guilty. Next case.

red said...

jd said (in part):
"The only thing that will give this debate some direction is naming the drug."

and now that mayfield is offically in possession of that (written) information, he is free to release that information to the media his attorney has planned to gather on friday, doncha think?

i'm just sayin' . . . wonder what reason will be given by the mayfield camp for not naming the drug now?

yankeegranny said...

Have a daughter who works in the health field and deals with drug testing on a day to day basis.She tells me that there are a number of substances that will give a false positive and that many drug interactions that will do the same. When I told her that NASCAR does not give out a list of banned drugs and that drivers have to call a Dr. to find out what they are taking is ok, she asked if they are "nuts" and if they had deep pockets because they are asking for a lawsuit.

yankeegranny said...

She also asked if Mayfield has had a hair test done because that is usually done if there is a question of the accuracy of the test. Anyone know if he has or not?

PPistone said...

I'm in Indy covering the 500 but let me say how fitting of LMS to dedicate the media room in Charlotte to David. Can't wait to get there for the October race. As for the Mayfield situation, it does seem the fans are tiring of it but that hasn't stopped the non-stop calls we get on Sirius radio as was evident when Nate Ryan and I hosted TMD Thursday morning.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy has had an independent hair, blood and urine test done. NASCAR did not give him that opportunity to clear his name. Those will be a part of the suit.

There are medical experts lined up that don't share the opinion that the Aegis test is rock solid. Most feel that Mayfield's prescription could easily be responsible for the levels on his test results. The battle is not going to be about the test results but more about their interpretation.

The Sadler suit wasn't with NASCAR, it was with RPM. RPM didn't write a check to get rid of them, they re-instated Sadler to his job. Which was the remedy Sadler/Diehl were asking for from the beginning. Sounds like a win to me.

Anonymous said...

@yankeeegranny -
Supposedly Mayfield has had a hair test done at a lab he contacted.

majorshouse said...

I am so pleased that they named the room after David Poole and for Jeremy Mayfield, he can go blow. I am sick of hearing about all fo this. What about all of the others that have tested positive and you have never heard about them. It is NASCAR's right if they so choose to not release this and Jeremy knew this. He has had a habit of saying things that even though they may have been correct, the way that he went about doing it did nothing to help his credibility or reputation, so he and the media just need to let this lie for a while because there is more going on in the sport besides hearing about Jeremy Mayfield every time I run on something NASCAR related.

Tracy said...

What a nice tribute to David Poole. Lovely. Free snacks, what cool idea!

Nacar has to do a more professional job with its drug testing policy. No one is contesting the need for such a policy. If it took nailing a driver for the policy to get whipped into better legal shape, so be it. But Nascar has always operated in its own little world (remember Mauricia Grant and how they tried to vilify her, only to fire the two men she accused of exposing themselves to her?) without fear of reprisals.

JM is their Mauricia Grant when it comes to their drug testing policy. Don't cast stones at the lawyer just because he's working within the system as it now stands. Remember, Ms. Grant had to hire legal counsel to expose Nascar's flaws in regards to how they handled sexual and racial discrimination accusations.

earl06 said...

I can't wait for this story to go away. None of the other drug suspensions in NASCAR received a tenth of this coverage. The only upside to the media beating this to death is that they're leaving all the other dead horses (ratings, Dale Jr., Kyle's attitude, etc.) alone for the moment.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here we go again:


From Jayski - NASCAR has called a mandatory meeting for all Sprint Cup drivers for Tuesday [May 26th] morning at the Research and Development Center in Concord. Officials would not reveal the nature of the meeting. Speculation in the garage was that it is to clear up the confusion created by Jeremy Mayfield's indefinite suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.

JD

David said...

Again. This story is just too much of a mess for me to care about at this time. Until someone actually wants to TALK about the truth instead of speculate and threaten then Im not interested nor do I care. NASCAR laid down the law, now Jeremy has just continued to put his foot in his mouth after the fact.

This lawyer of his, judging from the SIRIUS Speedway transcript, sounds like a jerk because he basically in my eyes, went to the press to continue to threaten without answering a question asked. I liken it to FOX's "TOUGH" response. "I could tell you that, but I wont."

Little on the high horse if ya ask me.

Jeremy was best off laying low and discussing this with NASCAR behind closed doors first.

Maybe Jeremy is innocent, maybe its a misunderstanding but from what I've heard just through hearsay about drivers before this policy went into effect, nothing surprises me anymore.

David said...

Also, to echo others sentiments about the LMS gesture to David Poole's memory, awesome gesture by the track. He is most certainly missed by many.

Anonymous said...

I thibk tha Diehl went to David to try to keep the Jeremy fans agitated. But like JD says, I see a little of the tide turning. Also, for some of the hard-core Mayfield fans, they usually add to their comments something like "go after Jeff Gordon, and Rick Hendrick, we know they are crooks."

Mr Diehl, I don't think these are the folks that are going to persuade NASCAR to back down.

Anonymous said...

There are medical experts lined up that don't share the opinion that the Aegis test is rock solid. Bwhahahahaha! I'd like to see these so-called experts. Give me a break. This statement above is not made out of knowledge, but out of hope and speculation. Good luck with that.

As to the Mayfield deal, I did some checking and he could be totally innocent as he says he is. There's a list of over 60 substances and some medical conditions that will give a false positive.So-called false-positives are for the most basic kind of testing only. In this case, Aegis uses a test where they isolate and then identify on the micoscopic level the elements involved. To suggest that, for example, they could find cocaine and accidentally think it is something else is a bit of a joke. You need to do a little more reading.

elena, chicago said...

I wonder what Mr Diehl thinks about the lack of support for Jeremy. After Jeremy hired Diehl, he said:

"The harsh reality of it is when a test comes back positive, there's not a lot of bickering about it. It's black and white," driver Greg Biffle said. "I trust NASCAR and the medical people and the testing agency that they have backup tests that they truly verify that they've made the right decision.

I hope that ESPN quits saying how worried the drivers are about this whole fiasco.

Anonymous said...

It would also be really nice if someone from the NASCAR media pool would go to Aegis and do a story on their testing. The misconceptions being strewn about here, and the idea that all testing is the same, are just flat-out wrong. What Aegis does is very different than what most of you are talking about.

How hard would it be for Marty Smith to take a camera crew down to Aegis and do a story? Believe me, a lot of myths could be dispelled very quickly once most people saw what goes into a "test" at this level. In fact to even refer to it as "a test" in the singular totally underestimates what happens to a sample in the Aegis process. Where is the reporting, Marty?!

Here's the bottom line: You won't see Jeremy Mayfield again in a car, ever. If his lawyer decides to fight this, the best that they can hope for is cash compensation, because NASCAR runs the show and has no obligation to re-hire him and a judge cannot force them to. Mayfield is done.

Anonymous said...

PS - Would it be possible for the networks to find another clip of Mayfield? I have seen that one single clip of him climbing out of the All-Sport car about 1,000 times!!!

elena, chicago said...

anon is correct about NASCAR letting Mayfield drive again.

Besides suspending Mayfield for a positive test, NASCAR also added the infraction of Rule 12-4-A. That one deals with actions detremental to NASCAR. There is no doubt that the circus that is Mayfield has caused a colossal negative impact on the sport. Just look at the blog/bloggers. And Mayfield fomented it.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy Mayfield is behaving like a man who has his entire life fortune on the line. He bet quite a bit on Jeremy Mayfield Racing. His drug test results have doomed it to failure. Mayfield's only option now is to try to battle it out in court, and hope for an OJ-like verdict where the truth does NOT prevail.

elena, chicago said...

Mr Diehl commented after the meeting with NASCAR, that the meeting was cordial, but they made no progress.

Dr Black heads the largest drug lab of its kind in the United States. He has a PhD in legal medicine, specifically forensic toxicology from the school of medicine at the U of Maryland.

Aegis Labs is federally certified. They do work for Homeland Security. They have 3,000 clients, 80 are universties.

It's hard to fathom Dr Black would risk all this to "get" Mayfield."

Then we have Gary Crotty, NASCAR's lead coucil. He is known as an expert in motorport legal theory. He's the lawyer that said he had 50 lawyers ready to fight the Rockingham suit. He seems like a pretty tough guy.

If Mayfield sticks to his story, he will never drive for NASCAR again. He has made a boatload of money during his driving days. I hope he has not blown it all living high on the hog.

Anonymous said...

I am baffled by the fact that racing fans, who routinely bash NASCAR and the France family for not knowing what they're doing, suddenly accept 100% NASCAR's statements about Mayfield.

You can't have it both ways. Either NASCAR is incompetent or it isn't.

Why the assumption that Mayfield's in the wrong?

I suspect that if this accusation were made against Tony Stewart, for example, the fan base would savage NASCAR, not Stewart.

Sophia said...

A quick whine only Planeteers will understand. My MRN station that was MOVED to a stronger station to get in the house? Has been bounced back to it's weaker signal we can intermittently get in the house. Wah.

This meeting for the 26th has me most curious. Sheesh. More days to speculate I guess.

From what we are getting this story just gets weirder and weirder.

Sophia said...

Gosh, I forgot to leave a comment that I think it's great they named a room after David. His loss has left a deafening silence already in the NASCAR world.

GreenMeansGo said...

Hey JD, will the media be allowed at the "mandatory meeting"? Curious minds and all 8~)

elena, chicago said...

anon 12.29

Why don't you take some time and read some of the blogs in this site? You will get your answer.

You can also go to other sites where it's 90-10 supporting Mayfield.

Then you can read what drivers are saying, they are all supporting NASCAR. If my 3 favorite drivers support the policy, I tend to go their way.

Pretty much, it seems like everyone has an opinion, and they are not inclusive.

None of the opinios matter in a court of law.

Haus14 said...

@ PPistone --- I have enjoyed listening to you on TMD lately. I hope that you are able to make it a regular occurence. It is nice to have a Chicago guy on the air.

Enjoy Indy! - Haus14, Rensselaer, IN

Dot said...

I bet the media members refer to it as the Poole Hall. Cute name.

Too bad David is no longer with us. Imagine what his take would be on the Mayfield drug test brouhaha. Or, the Carl Long punishment.

Tracy said...

Dot, I agree re:wondering what Mr. Poole would say. Especially about Carl Long. Now THERE'S a guy I really feel for. It's like smashing an ant with a post-hole digger. Although I'm sure it's not true, it looks as if Nascar is so ticked off about Mayfield, they took their ire out on poor Carl Long.

Dodgeboy said...

Given Nascar's history of only publishing the facts that fit (caution for debris in Turn 3), one doesn't have to believe Jeremy Mayfield in order to be highly skeptical of Nascar's version of events. The threat of a lawsuit seems to be the best way of unveiling what really happened.

Dodgeboy

trish in nc said...

Mayfield has backed himself in a corner. If he is innocent, he went about it the wrong way. If he is guilty then he is already digging that grave. And how long does your hair have to be to do an analysis? I'm getting sick of all of this crap ruining the 50th Coke 600 at my home track. Just shut up and go away!

And my air conditioning is not working & I don't see nobody working on it.

Dot said...

I guess the change of venue for the drivers meeting means no media. And, no comments from the drivers.

@ trish in nc, I'd like to think that Jeremy wouldn't be suing if he didn't stand some kind of chance. Wouldn't his atty advise him of that? Just playing devil's advocate here.

Going for the joke here, maybe that's why Jimmie got a buzz cut.

Michael Huff said...

The media room at LMS being dedicated to David Poole is a wonderful way to honor Poole's legacy. As for the Mayfield issue there just hasn't been enough information released to the public for me to take a side. The Carl Long thing really irks me, it was a motor purchased or leased from an independant engine builder and according to a statment made by Carl it wasn't even a full cubic inch oversize. His crewchief being fined $200,000 is unimaginable, poor guy ended up in the hospital due to heart problems. I probably would to. It's not like they won the shootout, they didn't even have that motor in the car for the race. To me it looks like NASCAR is trying to get rid of the little guys, who knows front row Joe could be the next guy failing inspection or a drug test. I hope Carl does well with his appeal, if not I'm sure it will be the end of his Sprint Cup race team.

Anonymous said...

To trish in nc: You said "If he is innocent, he went about it the wrong way". What would be your suggestion as to how he should have handled it?

trish in nc said...

If I was innocent I would have hired a lawyer Day 1 and let him handle the case. Holding court with the media during the All-Star race and all of the comments that have been made are not helping Jeremy. Mayfield has a history of settling his issues in the public which has burned bridges.

He has a great lawyer in Diehl. There is obviously something that both parties should disclose as they are both losing their credibility.
Diehl will get to the bottom of this but I would let him handle it

Gymmie said...

Very nice dedication to Mr. Pool!

@PPistone--Enjoy Indy! Thanks for stopping by!

@Michael Huff--I feel the same about Carl. His CC can't come back until he pays it so either he needs to win the lottery or take in donations because he'll be working forever to even get that much. And if Carl finds a way to come back with a new CC he'll always have that hanging over his head. Depending on others to help him and hoping all meets specs. And I can't believe people are trying to label him as a cheater. He had as snowballs chance to win it to begin with to get into the big show plus Daytona and Indy pay more for last place than the Winston did to get into the big show. If you're going to cheat that's where it makes sense.

JD--I saw a tweet earlier about Jeremy supporters being escorted from the premises? I saw a sign or two in support but truly a shame if that did happen.

Anonymous said...

I am baffled by the fact that racing fans, who routinely bash NASCAR and the France family for not knowing what they're doing, suddenly accept 100% NASCAR's statements about Mayfield.The result don't come from NASCAR, they come from Aegis. Therefore, the results are solid. If you doubt that, read up on Aegis and get back to us. So NASCAR did the right thing - took this guy off the track. All they have done since then is announce the suspension and the road for Mayfield to get back to driving. Mayfield could take that route and maybe be back in a car before the Chase. But instead he has turned it into a circus with inconsistent stories, erratic behavior, an alibi that doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny, and now hiring a lawyer - I guess to try and get a cash settlement. The only one with no credibility is the guy whose been doing drugs that he shouldn't be doing when driving.

David said...

Carl Long:

NASCAR has 3 huge no no's. Playing with the engine, playing with the tires and playing with the fuel. NASCAR used Mikey as an example when he did the jet fuel thing by making one of the most severe penalties in NASCAR history, this is another example of what you CANT do. That being said, this has a chance to get overturned in appeal since it was a point exempt weekend and if Long's group can put a solid case together that makes sense, the commission may reduce the penalty to something more manageable.

It is an extremely severe penalty for a non points event IMO but I understand NASCAR's position on why it did what it did. Just up to the Stock Car commission to rule. They ARENT NASCAR so one can hope this gets overturned.

Richard in N.C. said...

A fitting honor to David Poole, which he earned.

I get irritated by what I see as the media's failings, but all of this NASCAR, Aegis, Mayfield stuff will eventually sort itself out - but David Poole's grandson and family will still be without him. As a grandfather and older than David I find their loss especially sad and more important. He went far too young.

Vicky D said...

Kyle Petty's comments re Mayfield and Carl Long are very telling. I believe Mayfield, heck I've heard him say he's very careful when he eats on the day of the races since he doesn't want to get sick from food poisoning. I think the banned substance will turn out to be not that bad. At our place of business, one positive test doesn't constitute a suspension another test has to be performed and our guys are offshore oil/gas platforms. It is very very rare that these guys would have a positive test though.

Anonymous said...

I wish Carl Long lots of luck, but having said that, I remember NASCAR's fine/suspension policy back in the day. No big deal. You did whatever and just paid the fine. Who knows, maybe teams put fines as part of their operating budget. Seems Richard Petty once had a big engine.

For teams to take NASCAR seriously, they had to increase the fines to such a level, that it would hurt.

When Ray Evernham got fined $60,000, it was unheard of. For several years Tony would be fined $10K for infactions. Finally, they fined him $50K. Everybody started paying attention.

When they fined Michael Waltrip for fuel, he just about went belly up. He was lucky that he drove Toyotas, and they stuck by him. He recently said he almost dropped out of racing due to the incident.

I hope Long puts up a good defense.

Anonymous said...

Sure do miss David Poole now. With all this great controversy and big storylines about Mayfield, Carl Long, the big NASCAR meeting on Tuesday.
David would attack it all. Now we really have nobody who is not in NASCAR's back pocket. All print media are reluctant to be a pit bull - David was NOT!

Anonymous said...

Mayfield already held court last weekend at the All Star Race. The fool spoke to the media and spouted off BEFORE hiring an attorney. Not real bright if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Once again, NASCAR uses the second or third tier driver to make an example of. Jeremy Mayfield and poor Carl Long. Seems like a double standard vs. a top name driver or crew chief in trouble. Think they would ever sit a top name driver and sponsor out?

Anonymous said...

I have been involved in a line of work that requires drug testing. I have also been in charge of a companies drug program. So I have some idea how these things work.

First I keep hearing the phrase "false positive" that is a misnomer in these cases. I ask our Doctor that ran the clinic where we sent people for testing about poppy seed rolls. I ask would they give a "false positive"? He said no it would be a "true positive" for opiates. Then he added that the level would be very low, much lower than if a dose of the drug was taken.

Frank in Sebring,

elena, chicago said...

Well, it's Friday night and looks like Mr Diehl did not file a suit in Jeremy's behalf.

We know that Mr Diehl said that his meeeting with NASCAR was cordial but "no closer to resolving the issue."

Then Ramsey Poston agreed it was cordial. He added that NASCAR laid out the process for them. It's a very well-defined process.

I wonder if the NASACR media is going to hound Mr Diehl (like they did NASCAR) until he files a suit. Seems like the ball is in Jeremy's court.

As far as the meeting on Tuesday, I bet the drivers will pay attention this time. It reminds me of the instructions they give at the beginning of a flight. They are boring and most passengers pay little attention.

I fly quite a bit, sometimes 8 times per year. So, I am usually reading or on my computer when they give instructions. Then on a fight, we had very violent turbulence. We were over the ocean and I was sure we were going down. I had never experienced anything like it.

Boy, was I trying to consult with my neighbor what to do if we crashed on water!!

Anonymous said...

Anyone watching SPEED's WoO coverage?

Very good, with the exception of Erin Crocker, who clearly isn't ready to be on TV.

Anonymous said...

The Carl Long thing really irks me, it was a motor purchased or leased from an independant engine builder and according to a statment made by Carl it wasn't even a full cubic inch oversize.

Oh, well, then, that makes it okay.

Maybe we need a separate rulebook for the small operators, huh? Then they get fined less for doing something, but MWR or Hendrick gets fined more for the same offense.

Robert Upchurch said...

People here (I haven't been reading many fan comments on the topic elsewhere, but I'm guessing the comments are much the same) are willing to condemn Mayfield unconditionally. But put yourself in his shoes...or those of the next driver put in this situation...maybe your favorite driver, if it helps you understand the situation. And it will happen again.

A driver is suspended and publicly accused of taking illegal drugs. He believes he is innocent of the charges. The only avenue NASCAR offers is to admit guilt and enter rehab, with no promise of future reinstatement. The only other option is to walk away from your career and livelihood. Next, the doctor who works for the testing lab performing the tests publicly states that the tests cannot be wrong, further damning the driver.

So what do you do? Admit guilt so you have a slim chance of resuming your career someday? Not very attractive if you are guilty, but completely abhorrent if you believe you are not. Walk away? Not too pleasant either, because you leave with a black mark on your name that you believe is undeserved, plus you now need to find another career.

Which leaves the third option: hire an attorney with some history of success in working on NASCAR-related issues, and follow his advice to fight the charges. Which is what Mayfield has done.

Contrary to what some of the angry posters here have said, Mayfield has not made conflicting statements - conflicting with Dr. Black's statements, yes, but his own statements have been consistent. And everything Mayfield has done since the suspension - showing up at Lowe's, having a camera crew record what is going on around him, proclaiming his innocence - has been done with the blessing and coaching of his attorney.

Also contrary to what has been said here, neither Mayfield nor Diehl have been saying much in public, just enough to attempt to appease the reporters who have been hounding them since this has started. And with good reason...any meaningful public comments will harm the attorneys' ability to do the job they were hired to do, which is to allow Mayfield to resume his career, whether through private discussion with NASCAR or through the courts. So don't expect Diehl to release the test results to the public, for example.

But to the question of his guilt? Bottom line, I believe that Mayfield believes he is not guilty of these charges. Any other answer is not consistent with his actions, because if he knows he is guilty he is just throwing his money away. Mr. Diehl's expensive services will do him no good if he is guilty, and I'm sure that Diehl told him that in their first discussions. Add that to Ray Evernham's statements earlier this week - he stated clearly that he saw no signs that Mayfield was a druggie, despite being very close to him for a long period - and it looks like Mayfield may have been wronged in this fiasco. Coming from someone who has a legitimate reason to throw Mayfield under the bus, Evernham's comments speak volumes.

Painting Dr. Black and his lab as infallible as some posters here (and apparently NASCAR too) have done is naive. Drug testing is an interpretive science, not as cut-and-dried as those in the industry try to publicly portray. It has produced false results before on a regular basis. It is possible that this is the case here.

Like I have said before, I don't really like Mayfield, but for the reasons I've stated, I will give him the benefit of the doubt until this plays out. And hope NASCAR's drug testing program is improved (like supplying a meaningful list of what drugs to avoid like nearly every other sport does) before a driver I like is caught in the same trap.

Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Robert Upchurch,

Bottom line is that you beieve in Jeremy and others believe in NASCAR and Dr Black.

Hiring an expensive lawyer is not proof. Marion Jones did that for 7 years, until she ended up in prison, stripped of her medals.

Drug test are not interpreted, they are read.

To your point about other drivers, so far ALL say they support NASCAR over Jeremy. You fear for them more than they fear for themselves.

Having others give testimonials about Jeremy is not proof. That is a very common practice. All that does not invalidate evidence.

When Jeremy stands on top of a hospitality trailer outfitted with a microphone, it's hard to discribe that as " appeasing reporters."

Opinions won't save or condemn Jeremy, the evidense will.

Tracy said...

Well said, Mr. Upchurch. I totally agree. Any way you cut it, this is an expensive deal for JM, and he has every right to have legal counsel and another drug test by a different lab.

Anonymous said...

Robert,
People thought OJ was innocent and wrongfully accused too.

Sophia said...

Not seen a drug test results but have seen many tests I have had (actual tests, not the "report of person interpreting" and things do vary.

I had a doc dismiss one test and two cardiologist and endocrinologist say yes, we are sorry this is what you have, we can't fix it.

I have read of MRI's/CT's being done on people, radiologist says one thing and all is well. A SECOND MORE ASTUTE doctor read them, calls the family and or parents at home and says "Come in, we need emergency surgery to save you or your kid". (I am not talking an aggressive surgeon that just wants you to help pay for hims new BMW as we do have those types as well!)

so I do not have 100% faith in any medical tests in general as indeed INTERPRETATION IS EVERYTHING.

I had a doctor/surgeon in my family from the time I was 7 and heard ALL SORTS of stories, that I am sure many here who work in hospitals/labs/doctors offices can tell you. Nothing is handwrit in stone.

so, otherwise, I can't believe I added two more cents to this topic. :)

I do know one thing, things are not adding up and I don't know where the missing info is.

Stay tuned

Anonymous said...

Boy, too bad that Kiefer Sutherland had never heard of Mr Diehl and Robert's "drug tests are interpreted."

Here you have the highest paid tv actor of the series 24, the son of Donald Sutherland another multi-millionaire, and they don't hire the right lawyer, Mr Diehl.

I guess Kiefer was just a fool not to fight the toxicology report the prosecution used to verify Kiefer had exceeded the legal limit of alcohol. Poor guy. He served 48 days in jail without a fight. He never challenged the test!! Wow.

Robert Upchurch said...

Anonymous (what a busy guy you are), you just reinforced my point. Likely Sutherland didn't fight it because he knew he was guilty. My point is Mayfield believes he is not guilty. Maybe he is wrong, but from my POV (as I stated above), I think that is what he believes. Who knows, maybe he got some cookies with weed in them and didn't know it. That stuff can show positive in your system for up to a month.