Mayfield banned indefinitely for substance abuse
Jeremy Mayfield has been banned by NASCAR indefinitely after failing a random drug test. The driver/owner of the No. 41 Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series is banned with immediate effect, along with Tony Martin, a crew member with the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Cup team, and Ben Williams, a crew member with the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing team in the Nationwide Series.
Mayfield is the first Cup driver to fall foul of NASCAR's zero-tolerance policy towards substance abuse regs. Jim Hunter, NASCAR’s v.p. of corporate communications said: “NASCAR has one of the toughest substance abuse policies in all of sports. It's all about safety and competition. And a positive result means an indefinite suspension from all competition. The implementation of the random testing aspect of this program has been welcomed and supported by the drivers, owners, and other competitors in the sport.”
Mayfield, who failed to qualify for tonight’s Southern 500 at Darlington had competed in five of 10 Cup races this season, scored his fifth and last Cup victory back in 2005. On Saturday, he released a statement, saying: “As both a team owner and a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I have immense respect for the enforcement policies NASCAR has in place. In my case, I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over-the-counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My doctor and I are working with both Dr. Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter.”
Given that the ban applies to Mayfield as an owner as well as a driver, the team is forced to look for a replacement driver for the No. 41 car, and would have to enter subsequent races under a different name than its current Mayfield Motorsports. The team's statement continued: "Mayfield Motorsports remains committed to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the organization will announce an interim owner and a temporary replacement driver early next week.”