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Woody: Something Is Wrong With This Picture

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 16 2009
There are a lot of things about the Jeremy Mayfield situation that defy logic. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

There are a lot of things about the Jeremy Mayfield situation that defy logic. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

That hammering we heard earlier this week was said to be the final nails in Jeremy Mayfield’s coffin.

Well, maybe.

Even though NASCAR has produced another alleged positive drug test, along with an eye-witness who has sworn to Mayfield’s past drug use, I’ve still got some nagging questions.

For starters, how plausible is this scenario:

A celebrity who has been rocked by drug allegations, who has lived for weeks under intense media scrutiny, continued to buy and use drugs knowing he was under a microscope? And despite NASCAR’s notification that more tests were coming?

Are we to believe that Mayfield persisted in using drugs in the midst of a drug investigation, while waiting to be tested again?

It strains credulity.

Anyone who did that would have to be helplessly addicted and deliberately trying to get caught.

If that’s the case – if Mayfield was crying out for help – why doesn’t he now confess and seek treatment? Instead, he continues to profess his innocence.

Then there’s the “eye-witness.”

Mayfield’s stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, signed an affidavit on July 15 swearing that she witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines “approximately 30 times” between 1998 and 2005.

She said she first saw him using the drug in 1998 at his shop in Mooresville where she said he “cooked” his own meth. She said after it became difficult to get the ingredients, Mayfield began buying meth from a dealer.

Let me get this straight: For seven years this woman witnessed an illegal and dangerous activity and never reported it to authorities?

For seven years she watched her stepson ingesting a deadly, addictive drug and never sought help for him?

She claims that she knew that he ran at least one race (at Darlington) under the influence of drugs, yet kept quiet, thereby endangering the life of Mayfield and every other driver on the track?

After keeping silent for so long about illegal drug manufacturing, illegal drug transactions, illegal drug use, and life-risking racing participation by a drug addict, why did she suddenly decide to come forward?

Odd that after all those years of silence her conscience suddenly acted up – just when NASCAR needed a star witness.

Equally odd is her statement that she witnessed so much drug use from 1998 through 2005 but mentions none since.

She also claims that “others” witnessed Mayfield’s drug use. Who are they? Since she’s naming names under oath, why not include them? Wouldn’t that bolster the case?

How did she know Mayfield was buying from a dealer? If she was aware of all this criminal activity, why didn’t she report it to the cops and try to get a dealer off the street?

Which brings us back to the Big Question: Why did she wait so long to reveal it? Somehow it doesn’t pass the smell test.

It doesn’t pass the sight test either. We’ve all seen pictures of pathetic meth addicts. They are invariably hollow-eyed and emaciated, with bad teeth and callow skin. Yet a photo of Mayfield snapped last week showed a showed a robust, clear-eyed young man with a dazzling smile. If he’s been a meth user all these years, how come he hasn’t wasted away?

I’ve said all along that this is the most puzzling, perplexing mystery in NASCAR history. I’ve never believed for a moment that NASCAR would deliberately falsify a drug test or wage some sort of personal vendetta against Mayfield.

At the same time, the accusations against Mayfield defy all logic.

Nothing about this ugly mess has made any sense from the start. Nothing still does.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 16 2009
19 Comments

19 Comments »

  • marc says:

    Doug – Proof of one failed chain of custody case that occurred 9 years ago is pertinate today is tenuous, at best. Obviously it happened but to think Aegis paid out $65,000 and didn’t correct the problem is just a bit outside probability.

    Zppr – Sure Mayfield was correct in the Evernham lawsuit what you fail to note or admit he was under a legal contract. Mayfield would have gotten money owed to him without dragging Evernham’s personal life into the matter.

    It was a crass and unprofessional act, and frankly smells very much like him filing suit on Lisa Mayfields comments on a matter that happened 22 months ago. Both scenarios show a possible vindictive childish attitude on his part.

    Bobby dee Do you have the slightest clue about this story? Apparently not, there never was any blood test by Mayfield or NASCAR, they have all been urine sample tests.

  • Richard in N.C. says:

    A little more digging might be appropriate. Facts can often just knock the crap out of a good story.

    NASCAR had every reason to NOT want to identify JM as a drug abuser. At the beginning of the season JM could almost have been a poster-boy for NASCAR. He was a reasonably well-known, articulate driver who was effectively getting down off the porch to run with the big dogs – just what B. France wanted, an independent team joining Cup to show that Cup racing was not dying. And who wants to pick a fight with someone with a history of hitting below the belt.

    Even if NASCAR is proved to be correct, the sport still has a blackeye – and I find it hard to believe that anyone could really believe Brian France is dumb enough to have wanted that.

    Whether NASCAR’s drug testing program is or is not flawed is still predominantly unknown since no one in the media seems to want to do the digging to find out and report how it compares with those of other major racing series, other major sports, or say airlines. Would you like to take a plane ride with JM piloting?

    Now it does seem to me that there are 2 basically unrefuted items in all this- (1) Aegis is an experienced, well-respected company in its industry and (2) the only 2 drug tests that can be shown to be of JM’s urine came up positive for meth.

    • Tony says:

      On 1 you are right. On 2 you are wrong.

      Jayski has the results of JM’s test conducted at LabCorp on July 6.

  • Pat says:

    I hope Mayfield is innocent and I hope he burns Nascar. It’s about time someone did. Brian France and others have taken Nascar to a new low. This is suppose to be a family sport, but how can a family afford the tickets to these events? Tickets too expensive, drivers too afraid of being called to the hauler, to say what they want to say. This is not a family sport anymore, only big corporate sport. It sucks.

  • Matt says:

    Have we stopped and thought about the possibility that maybe NASCAR let a broken drug testing program spiral out of control to the point where they are going to do anything in their power to cover up a possible screw up on their part? Even if he’s a addict in deep denial, why isn’t his wife or family stepping up to help him? Why would they let him continue down this destructive road to save his name which is already ruined, and so is he driving career for that matter?

    The heads of NASCAR have run the series like a dictatorship, with nobody ever challenging them, and they answer to nobody. Powertrips,ego’s and greed run rampant in those ranks. And it would not surprise me in the least to hear that Brian France was a recreation drug user, this is not uncommon for such wealthy people of power who think they are “untouchable”.

    Now comes the first drive to take off the gloves with them, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I love the dirty laundry, keep it coming. Would like to see some execs at Nascar get dragged through the mud. What Nascar needs is a drivers union, someone to fight for the drivers. But it would be an ugly fight to get this current system changed, the execs are loving their Nazi style regime of power.

  • Doug says:

    So many questions and don’t know who is right and wrong. But it seems that Aegis Labs settled with the NASHVILLE, TN over an Bloched Drug Test of an NASHVILLE Fire Department Employee over the Chain of Custody Issues.
    http://www.nashville.gov/mc/resolutions/term_1999_2003/rs2003_1550.htm

  • Barry in Tennessee says:

    “A celebrity who has been rocked by drug allegations, who has lived for weeks under intense media scrutiny, continued to buy and use drugs knowing he was under a microscope? And despite NASCAR’s notification that more tests were coming?”

    That’s EXACTLY what addicts do. They believe they are invincible.

    “Are we to believe that Mayfield persisted in using drugs in the midst of a drug investigation, while waiting to be tested again?”

    Yes. Ask anyone who personally knows an addict and they’ll tell you just how plausible that is. Addicts truly believe they will be able to beat the system.

    “If that’s the case – if Mayfield was crying out for help – why doesn’t he now confess and seek treatment? Instead, he continues to profess his innocence.”

    Again, modus operandi of an addict.

    “Let me get this straight: For seven years this woman witnessed an illegal and dangerous activity and never reported it to authorities?”

    I assume you’ve never had a family member that’s an addict.

    “For seven years she watched her stepson ingesting a deadly, addictive drug and never sought help for him?”

    Do you know for a fact she never sought help for him? Not reporting him to authorities nor NASCAR doesn’t mean she didn’t seek help for him.

    “After keeping silent for so long about illegal drug manufacturing, illegal drug transactions, illegal drug use, and life-risking racing participation by a drug addict, why did she suddenly decide to come forward?”

    She has publicly stated why. Do a little journalistic homework and you’ll know why she is claiming to come forward now.

    “Equally odd is her statement that she witnessed so much drug use from 1998 through 2005 but mentions none since.”

    She was married to Mayfield’s father (Terry “Slick” Mayfield) until he committed suicide in 2007. She claims the last 2 years of Terry’s life that he and Jeremy were estranged (beginning in 2005).

    And she also claims that Jeremy’s abuse and mistreatment of his dad is what led to him committing suicide.

    Again, this is public record. Do your homework.

    I’m not saying I believe her, or that I don’t believe her.

    But what if she’s telling the truth?

    And now Jeremy suddenly claims that she (Lisa Mayfield) murdered his dad? How convenient is that?

    “Nothing about this ugly mess has made any sense from the start. Nothing still does.”

    On this we totally agree. This has to be one of the wierdest things I’ve ever seen. Makes the Jacko story look tame.

    • Heads says:

      I do have a nephew that is a drug addict for over 7 years see him all the time and Mayfield doesn’t even come close. Some of you people amaze me with your willingness to believe anything nascar puts out. The Tim Richmond case proves they’ll do anything to cover their butts they did it then falsifying a drug test and it isn’t that far out there that they are doing it again if the first one was possibly botched. Give me a break.

  • Barry in Tennessee says:

    “We’ve all seen pictures of pathetic meth addicts. They are invariably hollow-eyed and emaciated, with bad teeth and callow skin. Yet a photo of Mayfield snapped last week showed a showed a robust, clear-eyed young man with a dazzling smile. If he’s been a meth user all these years, how come he hasn’t wasted away?”

    Maybe his teeth are porcelain veneers? Do you personally know if they are or are not?

    Please folks, shake from your mind the picture of the sterotypical meth junkie we’ve all seen on tv and the web.

    Trust me, sometimes you can’t tell from just looking.

    If that was the case, why bother having anyone pee in a cup? Instead let’s all just look at someone and determine if they are a drug user. Sheesh.

    Larry Woody, you are doing yourself and your readers a disservice by not educating yourself more about this subject before writing your opinion.

  • Scott says:

    I think that both parties are at fault for how this is being handled.

    Here is an easy solution.

    Hair testing by an independant lab designated by the court.

    The testing of the hair will be for the length of the hair, so if JM has hair 2 inches long then the test will be for the amount of time that it took the hair to grow. NO PROBLEM. Here is the kicker, ANY HAIR from the human body can be used, be it from the arm pits or leg or genital.

    If JM is truely innocent then do the hair testing.

    If he tries to shave or cut any hair on his body then it just goes to show that he is guilty.

    This whole story and mess is what is part of the problem with NASCAR.

  • Zppr says:

    to add to the many questions, every year a driver is required to take a physical which includes a drug test.when he drove for penski and everham, where are the results of the tests?

    case in point on JM, I never agreed with what he did in attacking Ray in public. BUT he was correct, also he made the chase the 2 years prior while Casey struggled. the next year he lost his crew chief(to casey) and most of his team was traded out with Casey’s crew members. and pressstoooo JM struggled.

    So in the end he was right about that.

  • Sweet Old Bob says:

    Having had a friend with attention deficit disorder who I have ridden motorcycles with on trips of lengths comparable to a typical Nascar Race, I would think that some who had that problem would not be a candidate for driving a race car in a 500 mile race. My friend would often have to stop and take medication to control his disorder. So meth aside, I would not want to be beside some one going 180+mph on any drug that affects emotions.

  • Bobby dee says:

    Reporters keep ignoring the fact that at the time of the blood draw, all participants & officials must list all drugs and medications. Jeremy did not mention either medication. By his own admission, he failed the test. I believe NASCAR has covered their behinds effectively.

  • Canadian Fan says:

    “A celebrity who has been rocked by drug allegations, who has lived for weeks under intense media scrutiny, continued to buy and use drugs knowing he was under a microscope? And despite NASCAR’s notification that more tests were coming?”

    By the same logic….

    What would a high profile, sanctioning body of a professional, televised sport, falsify a drug test knowing, they, too, would be under enormous scrunity from the media, fans, drivers, etc, etc.
    The implications of been caught doing such a thing would be catastropic for NASCAR. I’m sure they have takening much more “care” in collecting, analyzing and reporting the results from this test. In fact, they seem to take a bit more time in publishing the results (like they were deciding the best way to release the outcome). I’m not saying NASCAR is not without fault, but I don’t think they’re stupid either.

    As for Mayfield, he lost a lot of credibility with many people when he started the juvenile “oh yeah, well here’s what I got on you” crap a few years ago with Ray Evernham. When Ray wanted to hire him (for lack of performance), Mayfield outing Evernham’s affair with Erin Crocker. Instead of taking things like a man, Jeremy tends to play “dirty” (trying to play the ole “distract the attention from me by putting it back on you” game) and continues to look like an a$$ in doing so.

  • josie says:

    I still cannot get a handle on this entire situation. If Meth stays in the system for such a long period it would be my contention that when the next court date comes up the judge..during the hearing
    ..informs Mr. Mayfield he is immediately being escorted by court appointed escorts to a lab of the judge’s choice (a lab that is capable of testing for meth..real or false positive..and denoting the difference between real and false.) If there are other tests that will help substantiate the findings they should be done at the same time…i.e. blood, hair, skin…anything that would backup the findings. I would also have the judge require that Mr. Mayfield goes to a doctor (again judge’s choice) who is proficient with drug abusers to give Mr. Mayfield a “psych exam” persay. When the findings return from the above mentioned tests only then should any conclusions be drawn. ALSO..in order for the stepmothers accusations to be heard in court I would insist..if I was the judge..that other witnesses (she couldn’t possibly be the only one who saw him..if he did the amount of meth she accuses him of) MUST be brought forward by NASCAR in order for him to enter the stepmothers affidavit into evidence. This would be my world..and welcome to it !!

  • Karen Marsh says:

    Thank you so much for “laying out” a great article! I have always respected your articles. I have been a fan of Jeremy’s for 17 yrs. all the way back to the “Old Nashville Fairgrounds” Speedway days! My husband & I have talked with him over the yrs. & he has never shown any signs of a “Meth Addict.” How true it is that a continued Meth user would definately not have the beautiful teeth Jeremy has, nor the clear skin, nor the body that has always looked as if he kept it in great shape, needless to say, he could not have tolerated hours in a 130+ degree race car & he has not been one to ever go out & cause wrecks!! Yeah, he has been in some accidents, but most have been of someone elses making! He is a very respectful guy, he loves his fans as they love him too. I will continue to support him.

  • Timber says:

    All that we have heard from NASCAR is a press release that supports their case. What we do not hear is more detailed information concerning the scientific background of the test. Additionally, we know that Jeremy Mayfield at nearly the same time submitted to additional tests at alternate testing facilities.

    Were there consistent results between the laboratories? Did NASCAR choose an alternative laboratory? Have NASCAR tests been confirmed by a third party? What were the methods that each of the laboratories used?

    If I understand correctly, either Adderall or Pseudoephedrine, as contained in Claritin-D can give a false positive test. It would not take a combination to give the result. If so, and if Jeremy was continuing to take Adderall, it is likely that if the same tests were used, and if the tests are not capable of differentiating between the use of Adderall and meth, then two poistive tests would result.

    I Jeremy is using meth, he should be removed and rehabilitated. And, yes, he should find it difficult to ever return as a racer. Just the same, it he is not a user, then all of the parties should provide all of the real details. This will help the public know the truth.

    By the way, if Jeremy is correct in his assertions, I will welcome him as the new owner of NASCAR. I am sure that the settlement will be in the 8 or 9 figure category.

  • marc says:

    You ask “how plausible” it is for someone to continue to use a drug while under both a suspension for use of the drug and under mandated random testing.

    Might I suggest you contact former NNS driver Shane Hmiel who was under the same regime and tested positive twice and a third time for refusing to take a test.

    It’s also instructive to note Meth is detectable for up to ninety days after its use dependent on the testing method in use.

    As far s Lisa Mayfield, she’s been pretty much outed as a crank, it’s best to ignore her.

    • Doobie says:

      Shane Hmiel was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after NASCAR booted him. He was self-medicating with illegal drugs before his diagnosis.

      Mayfield has already been diagnosed with ADHD, and is taking Adderall (an amphetamine) to manage it.

      The situations, and thought processes involved with each, are different.