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Jeremy Mayfield finally speaks -- and says he plans to race next Saturday at Chicago

Jeremy Mayfield: getting ready to return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup tour next week at Chicago (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Jeremy Mayfield has been one of the biggest NASCAR stories of the week leading up to Saturday night's Coke 400 here, but he has been a no-show since Wednesday's legal victory over NASCAR in federal court in Charlotte.
   However Saturday evening Mayfield and his wife Shana issued a statement on the week's events, and he said he planned to be at Chicago with his own team for next Saturday night's NASCAR tour stop.
    The statement:
   "To all my fans, friends and fellow competitors:
    "First and foremost, Shana and I want to thank all of you who have supported us. To say that the last two months have been two of the worst months of my entire life is an understatement. The only event I can think of that brought me even greater pain was the loss of my father in 2007.
   "Last Wednesday's ruling by Judge Mullen was a giant step towards clearing my name and getting the 41 car back on the track.
    "Our hope was to bring our team to Daytona this weekend to qualify and race in the Coke Zero 400. For those who know me well, there is nothing in the world that I would rather do than race for you all on the 4th of July.
   "Following Judge Mullen's ruling, we had less than 24 hours to prepare the car, assemble a team, get sponsorship and travel to Daytona.
   "Ultimately we were unable to get this done in time.
    "We've received several phone calls from friends and fans as well as friends in the media wondering if we would be coming to Daytona this weekend anyway. We've decided that our time is best spent back here in North Carolina working around the clock to try and secure the funding needed to get the 41 car to Chicago and beyond.
    "Shana and I, as well as everyone at Mayfield Motorsports, will do everything in our power to race next weekend.
    "Finally, we've been watching on television and reading online about the "Storm Clouds Over Daytona" and the "Mayfield Media Circus."
    "Honestly, this is the last thing Shana or I want for anybody. This weekend shouldn't be about a questionable drug test or a flawed drug testing system. It should be about celebrating our country, the greatest country in the world.
    "So enjoy the weekend with your friends and family, and have a very happy Independence Day. We look forward to seeing you all at the track very soon.
    "Thanks again for keeping us in your hearts and prayers.
    "Jeremy and Shana Mayfield"

I hope, if he's innocent,

I hope, if he's innocent, Nascar eats major crow.

this whole

this whole nascar-versus-mayfield thing is way too ugly, and it's very bad for the sport, and the guys in daytona ought to have seen that right from the start before they pulled the trigger. they should have solved whatever problem they thought they had behind closed doors.

Mayfield is the one that made

Mayfield is the one that made the fight public without making any effort to first trying to see if the dispute could be resolved outside the public glare - but of course the media would not like that. NASCAR continually refused to disclose what Mayfield tested positive for until it came out in court. Richard in N.C.

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