NASCAR is stopping at nothing to make sure Jeremy Mayfield doesn’t see the pavement of a race track.
It was announced on Monday that NASCAR has filed an appeal of Judge Graham Mullen’s ruling to grant Mayfield an injunction, allowing him to race for the time being. NASCAR claims that the participation of a “proven methamphetamine user” could lead to fatal consequences for the competitors and the fans.
This is just the latest chapter in NASCAR’s “Drug Wars”.
Yes, it seems that NASCAR is doing everything it can to make sure Jeremy Mayfield stays away from the track. But, could “everything” include making under-the-table deals (or even threats) with some of the team owners?
Mayfield did not have enough time, nor money, to prepare a car for last weekend’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. That meant Mayfield had only one option: Try to get a ride with one of the smaller teams.
The best option seemed to be Gunselman Motorsports. Gunselman has been without a sponsor all season, so it didn’t seem as if there were any plausible conflicts. However, on Thursday morning, Gunselman announced within the same hour, that he had just struck a deal with Fred’s Discount Stores, and that Fred’s supposedly did not want Mayfield in the car.
Let’s pause for just one moment. What on earth does Fred’s have to lose by putting Mayfield in the car? I’m not trying to rip them here, but it’s not like they’re some Fortune 500 company with a reputation on the line. Putting Mayfield in the car would’ve given them more publicity than they could ever dream of.
Continuing on. Qualifying was rained out on Friday. Based on attempts, Gunselman’s team made the race. However, according to NASCAR, they were a late entry, even though according to the entry list, Gunselman’s team was not a late entry.
I find it hard to believe that Fred’s would let this fly, but wouldn’t let Mayfield drive the car.
Other teams that could’ve put Mayfield in their cars were all unsponsored, including Tommy Baldwin Racing, as well as Joe Nemechek’s and Phil Parson’s teams. Those teams all had so much to gain and so little to lose that the reward of putting Mayfield in their car seemed so much greater than the risk.
But how little did they have to lose?
NASCAR has already showed this year that they aren’t afraid to run a team right out of business for no apparent reason. Carl Long was fined $200,000 earlier this season at the All Star Race when his engine was supposedly too big. The race meant nothing, and Long didn’t last 3 laps. Not to mention he didn’t even race the engine in question.
What was to stop NASCAR from doing the exact same thing to one of the “Small 4″? Now that I think about it, the only ones who know whether the cars actually pass or fail inspection are those that work for NASCAR. For all we know, they could make up the results of an inspection process.
And if they can make up the results of an inspection process, what’s to stop them from intimidating the smaller teams out of putting Mayfield in their car? After all, none of those teams wants to be run out of business.
So, did NASCAR threaten the “Small 4″ under the table, or is it all just a coincidence? It all just seems too fishy. Sure, right now it’s just pure speculation. And, unless someone comes clean, that’s all it will ever be. But we do know one thing.
NASCAR is doing everything to keep Jeremy Mayfield off the track.