For the past several weeks friends with video cameras have been shadowing Jeremy Mayfield, creating a visual diary of the NASCAR driver's life. Whether he will ever want to relive such a bizarre episode is another matter. On May 9, NASCAR announced that Mayfield, 40, had failed a drug test (reportedly for methamphetamine use) and had been suspended indefinitely. The driver said it was a false positive triggered by a mixture of allergy and prescription ADHD medications, and on July 1 a federal judge lifted the ban, saying the likelihood of a false positive was "substantial" because Mayfield's B sample wasn't tested at an independent lab.
On July 6 Mayfield was tested again by NASCAR, and that result came back positive for meth. In court filings asking the judge to reinstate its ban, NASCAR included an affidavit from Lisa Mayfield, Jeremy's stepmother, in which she claims to have seen him take meth 30 times. Jeremy fired back through the media, calling his stepmother a "whore" and claiming that she murdered his father, who died in 2007 from what was ruled to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mayfield said he will file a wrongful-death suit.
Lisa wasn't Mayfield's only target. After the second positive test he suggested that NASCAR chairman Brian France had a drug problem and that NASCAR spiked his samples. Mayfield, who didn't return messages from SI, hasn't offered proof to back his charges. But if there's one thing that appears certain in all this, it's that Mayfield will never race again in NASCAR. Not that Mayfield was burning up the track anyway. Racing as an owner-driver, Mayfield, who made the Chase in 2004 and '05, had qualified for only five races this year, with a best finish of 32nd. Mayfield has vowed to continue his fight against NASCAR. That camera crew might want to hang around a little longer.
NIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK (MAYFIELD)