By admin | May 3, 2012
By Richard Allen
On April 30th a North Carolina bank purchased the home of Jeremy Mayfield and the former NASCAR driver was given ten days to move off the property. This was just another chapter in a long and sad story that brought about the end of what at one time looked to be a promising racing career.
Mayfield won five Sprint Cup races and finished inside the top-10 of the overall standings on three separate occasions. Perhaps his most well known winning moment came in June of 2000 when he bumped Dale Earnhardt, Sr. out of the way in the final turn at the Pocono Raceway and later used one of The Intimidator’s famous phrases in victory lane by claiming he only meant to “rattle his cage”.
However, Mayfield’s career, and life for that matter, began to take a series of twists and turns that eventually brought him to the point at which he lost his home this past Monday. Many claim that the driver’s troubles can be traced back to a time in which he claimed that then car owner Ray Evernham was involved in an inappropriate relationship with driver Erin Crocker. After that revelation, Mayfield and Evernham split midway through the 2006 season.
From that point, Mayfield never landed another full time ride.
But it was in the spring of 2009 when Mayfield’s career came completely off the rails. In a press conference at the Darlington Raceway, NASCAR officials announced that the owner/driver had failed a drug test and that he was suspended indefinitely as a result. Specifically, the drug to have been found in his system was the highly potent and addictive methamphetamine.
Mayfield retaliated by claiming the test had been flawed due to his use of a combination of the allergy medicine Claritin-D and doctor prescribed Adderall. A second test done by the Aegis Laboratories again came back positive for methamphetamines while the driver paid for his own test done by another lab which he says revealed no unapproved substance use.
And as outlandish as the story has sounded so far, it only got worse in the following weeks and months. Mayfield’s step-mother levied accusations that she had indeed witnessed her step-son using drugs and he countered by insisting that she had played a role in his father’s death, which had been ruled a suicide.
Further adding to the drama were a somewhat vocal group of supporters who rallied behind Mayfield and claimed any number of conspiracy theories on his behalf. NASCAR and its chairman, Brian France, were out to get their hero was often stated on message boards and social networking sites by these followers.
Mayfield has since been arrested on charges that he was in possession of stolen property. He has given up on trying to get his case against NASCAR heard by the Supreme Court, as he once claimed he would.
After a series of expensive court battles to defend himself and to take on NASCAR, Jeremy Mayfield arrived at the place he found himself on Monday morning. His home being sold at auction and his racing career far behind in the rear view mirror.
Whether you believe Mayfield was indeed a drug user who carelessly tossed his own life into its current tailspin or you believe he was indeed framed by higher powers, there is one irrefutable truth. A racing career, and more importantly a life, has been turned in the wrong direction. And that is truly a shame.
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