NASCAR asks to move Mayfield case to federal court
AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) ” NASCAR on Tuesday moved Jeremy Mayfield’s challenge of his indefinite suspension to federal court, a move that could keep the driver out of his car another week.
The notification came a day before a North Carolina Superior Court was scheduled to hear arguments pertaining to Mayfield’s suspension for failing a random drug test. NASCAR’s action automatically stayed that proceeding.
Mayfield had hoped a judge would reinstate him in time to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. His attorneys will now have to either fight the suspension in federal court, or petition the case be moved back to the state level.
“Administration of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy extends to every state in which it races, which is why the logical forum is federal court,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said.
Mayfield was suspended May 9 for failing a random drug test conducted eight days earlier at Richmond International Raceway. His suspension applies to both his role as driver and owner of the No. 41 Toyota for Mayfield Motorsports.
J.J. Yeley has driven the car since Mayfield’s suspension, but Mayfield did not send his team to last weekend’s race in Dover, Del. Instead, his attorneys went to court Friday, arguing the suspension should be lifted because NASCAR did not follow its drug-testing policies and left Mayfield with no way to prove his innocence.
North Carolina Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges did not immediately rule on Mayfield’s challenge last week because his absence from Dover removed any sense of urgency.
NASCAR has not revealed what substance Mayfield tested positive for, but his attorneys said in court he tested positive for amphetamines.
Bridges warned both sides not to discuss Mayfield’s test results.