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« 25 years ago: In the presence of a King and a President | Main | Race Preview and Fantasy Picks: Coke Zero 400 »

It sure would be embarrassing for NASCAR if…

By admin | July 1, 2009

By Richard Allen

A judge has granted an injunction that will allow Jeremy Mayfield to attempt to race in the Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway this Saturday. That ruling probably came as a surprise to many, and it no doubt especially came as a surprise to NASCAR.

Information has been mysteriously flying out of nowhere in regard to this case leading up to the July 1st court appearance. What Mayfield may have actually taken and what dangers those drugs might have imposed on his fellow drivers came from one camp. And, that the test results had been verified by a second lab was also leaked to the public.

The possibility that the drug test may have been skewed by a combination of legally prescribed drugs coupled with the accused having ingested flames during a crash came out of the other camp.

A radio host even went so far as to take the very same drugs Mayfield said he had taken and then submit himself to a drug test. That test showed the same positive Mayfield’s test showed. While the radio hosts test will mean nothing in the court proceedings, it did help Mayfield score a major victory in the court of public opinion.

Here’s the thought that first came to my mind when hearing Mayfield had been granted the injunction. The next race on the schedule just happens to be on NASCAR’s home track in Daytona Beach. It sure would be embarrassing for NASCAR if Mayfield were to actually make the race and then receive a huge ovation during pre-race introductions.

Right there, in the shadow of the sanctioning body’s corporate office, their current enemy #1 could score a major public relations coup.

NASCAR officials have to be hoping that doesn’t happen. Up till now they appeared to be winning the fight. This injunction was a major blow against them. Mayfield winning the hearts of those assembled in the grandstands on Saturday night would be like salt in their wound.

I’ve heard some speculate that Mayfield’s car will never make it through tech inspection. NASCAR can’t afford to look so vindictive with a judge watching. I’d say the #41 will get through tech.

On a restrictor plate track with no qualifying race, it probably won’t matter if it does or doesn’t get through tech. Mayfield probably stands little chance of making the show anyway. But if he does and gets a huge ovation, there will be a little egg on the faces of those watching from the top of the ivory tower.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

7 Responses to “It sure would be embarrassing for NASCAR if…”

  1. Trevor Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 8:04 am

    i agree, and even if Jeremy did take any drugs, he would be at his cleanest now. I’ll be at Daytona and I know a lot of people will be cheering for him if he does get into a car.

  2. Richard Allen Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 8:11 am

    According to ESPN.com Jeremy Mayfield’s team was not present in Daytona when the garage opened.

  3. Dennis Michelsen Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Mayfield’s team has been sued over non-payment of bills…I doubt they can afford to get to the track. Two team owners said today they would not put Jeremy in their cars due to his baggage. He is free to show up at the track but this injunction didn’t clear him of any wrong doing. Until this is resolved I doubt another owner would approve him to drive and his team is a financial mess.

  4. Ken Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    It is a win-lose situation for both sides. NA$CAR lost the court battle so far but they won in that they successfully ruined the career and reputation of their target. Mayfield won the battle in court so far but his career and reputation is ruined. Whether or not he is guilty seems to not be important. When you mess with a bully with unlimited funds, you will lose and NA$CAR is driving that point home.

  5. midasmicah Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I still think nas$car screwed up on the testing and will NEVER admit it. They would actually have to say they’re wrong. And nas$car’s never wrong, are they? I have felt Mayfield was being used as an example on their drug testing. Problem is, their example jumped up and bit them. I’m behind Mayfield all the way.

  6. Matt Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    None of this matters, he missed the deadline to submit a car for the race on saturday anyway. No disaster for nascar after all.

  7. danbald1 Says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Richard
    Good article except for one part. The biggest problem I see is the mis-perception that Mayfield is NA$car’s enemy #1 . Robby Gordon is and has been since he started his current team. Of course Mayfield will benefit from the fact that NA$car has pushed the envelope so far against Gordon, that even his haters notice more each week, to the extent that even the media have been questioning some of the actions against him. This now as you said puts the vindictive appearance as a plus in Mayfield’s corner.