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Were more people rooting for Mayfield or against NASCAR?

By admin | May 18, 2010

By Richard Allen

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen dismissed each of Jeremy Mayfield’s claims in his suit against NASCAR. The ruling came barely more than one year after the driver’s suspension by the sanctioning body after a positive drug test.

“Plaintiffs (Mayfield) agreed to release Defendants from all claims arising under a negligence theory or otherwise; Plaintiffs thereby waived their right to pursue their claims for defamation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and negligence,” said Mullen in his order. “Plaintiffs also failed to allege facts to support each of their claims. … Plaintiffs claims are hereby dismissed.”

No doubt, that statement left many around the country feeling a bit deflated. However, I am not so sure most of those who were disappointed by the ruling were necessarily upset because Mayfield had lost, but rather, because NASCAR had won.

Back on July 20th of last year I wrote a piece titled, ‘NASCAR haters may have chosen the wrong hero in Mayfield’ ( in which I said that the outcome which was announced today was inevitable. I point that out not to show that I was right but to outline my reasons for the premise of this piece.

In that posting I stated that there has for some time been a growing discontent by many with NASCAR and those who feel so strongly against the organization were willing to adopt anyone who would dare to take them on as their hero. Many of those same “Mayfield supporters” were quite pleased when the driver decided to take his cause into the mud pit and begin a name calling, innuendo laced smear campaign against NASCAR Chairman Brian France.

While there were quite a few hoots and hollers from the grandstand of public opinion when Mayfield made insinuations in regard to France’s private life, anyone with even a little knowledge of the legal system knows those type of things tend to be counter productive in a court case.

I believe those who cheered for such allegations were aware of that but were more interested in seeing Brian France’s name in the mud than they were in seeing Mayfield win his case.

There were no doubt some out there who truly were concerned about the plight of Jeremy Mayfield. However, I believe there were more out there who were interested in seeing NASCAR get taken down a notch and they did not care who it was that would do it. Those who feel that way will move on to their next hero in a while.

Just as I stated back in July of last year, I am not going to say that Mayfield did or did not use banned drugs. I am going to say that either way he was not going to be that guy who would bring NASCAR down a notch. Today, there are more than a few out there who are displeased with that.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

7 Responses to “Were more people rooting for Mayfield or against NASCAR?”

  1. SkoalBandit33 Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 12:31 am

    The judge’s ruling, and his reasoning, make legal sense. As I’m reading on Jayski, the judge asserts he waived his rights twice over, both as a driver and as an owner in his contracts. Fine.

    Here’s my question though:

    How come one of the judges lower down the judicial food chain did not just dismiss this case from the get go on these grounds?

    As it stands now, the only parties who really benefited in having this drag on for this long were the lawyers.

    It just seems like, and I’ll admit partial ignorance to all of the inner workings of our judicial system here, that to me this case could have been settled from the first day in court.

    “You signed two contracts waiving your right to sue, so your case dismissed. NEXT case on the docket!”

    Can someone enlighten me?

  2. djones Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Not to hijack your column Rich but, SkoalBandit33 asks some good questions. I’ve been wondering the same about the lower courts.

    Apparently Jeremy’s lawyers thought they had a case. Can Jeremy sue them for ineffective counsel? Or, is that only for criminal cases after guilty verdicts?

    PS, OK, I’ll admit it, I did want to see Brian France in the hot seat.

  3. Mrs. Goodman Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Actually, the answer to you question is probably, at this point, “more people just really don’t care, either way.”

  4. X-Na$car fan Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 7:14 am

    This is the same judge whose been handling this from the beginning. They have appeared before him several times. If this is the info he’s using to throw this out - he’s had it from the get-go. I just find it interesting he throws this out on the heels of the Gordon/Johnson subpoena. Something stinks here…

  5. another X fan Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    X-Na$car fan - I agree - stinks to high heavens….

  6. Paul brown Says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    The real question which will never be answered is how can a flawed drug policy destroy a man without any remorse or reprecussions. Ok one side of the coin says he was a user-fine if that is the case kick him out. BUT before you do, why did they test the sample the second time in the same lab with the same setup. That is not good science let alone good policy. JM deserves to be considered innocent until proven otherwise. NASCAR and its lab partners failed to do that. Where are all the other lab results? NASCAR claimed those labs were not as sensitive. excuse me, if the level 1 screen test is neg and screen tests are designed to fail on the positive side thus requiring level 2 testing, why are none of the other drivers concerned about their tests? a lab tech screws up and your life is ruined. This whole thing stinks not due to the results or whos involved but NASCAR’s bad science and application of second looks thru the exact same process. IF you ask the same question to the same lab setup you should get the same answer, however that is not a scientific second opinion. Mayfield got screwed whether guilty or not. that is the disturbing thing.

  7. Richard in N.C. Says:
    May 22nd, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    My understanding is that testing the 2nd sample in the same lab is the dominant procedure among US professional sports leagues, including the NFL, and I understand is the issue being litigated in Minnesota between the NFL and the 2 Williams due to Minnesota state law. Also, the federal judge in the JM case found that JM and his attorneys provided no evidence to support their allegations.