Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Jeremy Mayfield's team shows up at Indy, with Terry Labonte as driver...and a new team owner. And NASCAR gets a legal victory in Richmond.

  Terry Labonte (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern


   Jeremy Mayfield's NASCAR team may be, like a phoenix, rising from the ashes…right here this weekend. Just without Mayfield himself.
   Ttwo-time NASCAR Cup champion Terry Labonte will be at the wheel of Mayfield's old car for Sunday's Brickyard Allstate 400.
   Mayfield's hauler and cars are here, and so is Labonte, though Mayfield himself hasn't shown up yet.
   Tony Furr, Mayfield's long-time crew chief, is overseeing the new operation, and said Friday morning Mayfield could be in Indianapolis this weekend.
   However NASCAR won a legal appeal Friday afternoon in the U.S. 4th circuit court of appeals that should put Mayfield back on suspension and keep him away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
   Furr says that Mayfield has sold the team to a Georgia businessman, John Carter, who has been in racing for a while, and Furr says he expected Labonte to run the rest of the season with the team, in as many races as it can make. Furr says the team will continue running out of Mayfield's old shop.
   Mayfield's NASCAR suspension was on legal hold for three weeks because of a ruling by a federal judge in Charlotte against NASCAR. NASCAR has been appealing that ruling, and each day it seems like more documents are being filed in the court case.
   Then Friday afternoon the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., added yet another twist in the case, by giving NASCAR a major win in its legal battle to keep Mayfield off the track, by lifting the injunction that Mayfield's attorneys had won three weeks ago.
    Mayfield was originally suspended by NASCAR in early May; he took the issue to court and won an injunction that would have allowed him to race at Daytona. However Mayfield said he didn't have enough time or money to make the Daytona race. And Mayfield didn't show up at Chicago the following week.
   The latest legal move, in NASCAR's favor, would apparently put Mayfield back on suspension, until the next legal moves. The Mayfield case might not get going for several months. Complicating the entire issue are NASCAR's own legal moves in appeals.
   Mayfield himself, after several weeks of remaining silent, has come out in the past 10 days or so with numerous interviews, on his side of the case – he insists that NASCAR's claim of positive testing for methamphetamine use is wrong, and Mayfield insists he's got numerous tests of his own, from other testing labs, that prove he's clean.
   "John Carter owns it, bought it from Jeremy," Furr says. "I haven't talked with Jeremy in about a week so I don't know if he'll be here.
    "Terry is going to run the car wherever we run it, and we may run it the rest of the year, don't know yet."
    Toyota's Joey Arrington is doing the motors; Jeremy Lafaver is the crew chief. Furr says he himself "is mainly a consultant."
   "Jeremy wants to come back into this thing and race…but right now it's very difficult. Jeremy has a lot of pride."
   NASCAR issued a statement saying it was "pleased with the...ruling to reinstate NASCAR's suspension of Jeremy Mayfield. This is an important decision for NASCAR to make fair and equitable regulations for the safety of competitors and spectactors at the track. We will continue to respectfully make our case for as long as the litigation continues."
   The next step appears up to Mayfield and his lawyers. It is unclear if they might ask for court review of NASCAR's drug test results of other drivers and crewmen.
   Labonte has been semi-retired for several years now; his one start this season was in the Daytona 500, where he finished 24th.


   Terry Labonte, autographing one of his NASCAR victory photos (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com