Jeremy Mayfield's on-again, off-again suspension by NASCAR is back in effect, after an appeals court ruled in NASCAR's favor Friday, issuing a stay on the injunction that gave the driver the right to resume his racing career. The decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will stand until NASCAR's full appeal is heard by the court.
NASCAR had appealed to the Richmond, Va., court after a federal judge lifted Mayfield's suspension on July 1, ruling based on the argument that NASCAR's drug-testing system was flawed. U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen still has yet to rule on NASCAR's filing asking him to overturn his earlier decision, based on its claim that Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine a second time on July 6.
Mayfield was originally suspended May 9 for failing a random test done eight days earlier, and NASCAR has said he tested positive for methamphetamine. Mayfield has denied ever using the illegal drug.
Mayfield had not entered Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and has entered no races since his original suspension was overturned. Mayfield claimed yesterday that he was close to landing a major sponsor for Sprint Cup racing. However, the Associated Press reports that all employees of Mayfield's race team have now resigned.
"We are pleased with the 4th Circuit Court's ruling to reinstate NASCAR's suspension of Jeremy Mayfield," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement. "This is an important decision for NASCAR to make fair and equitable regulations for the safety of competitors and spectators at the track. We will continue to respectfully make our case for as long as the litigation continues."