…And the Jeremy Mayfield case just got much more interesting.
You all know the story by now. Just over a year ago, NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR for testing positive for methamphetamines. Mayfield appealed the ruling, stating that he was a victim of a false positive. After that, the case became one big mess.
For awhile, the Mayfield v. NASCAR case took a brief hiatus. But things just got a lot more interesting.
It was announced Thursday that Mayfield’s legal team has sent out subpoenas to Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. The two drivers will be deposed in court by Mayfield’s team regarding sworn statements they gave as part of the case.
Let me break this down for you before we continue. If somebody is sent a “subpoena”, it means they must attend court under a penalty for failing to do so. If they are “deposed”, they must testify under oath or affidavit.
Since it was Mayfield’s team who sent the subpoenas, and Mayfield’s team who will be deposing them, if I’m not mistaken, Gordon and Johnson will have to testify on Mayfield’s behalf.
Now here’s what it looks like they may say when they testify. When the suspension was announced, Gordon and Johnson both signed an affidavit which stated the following:
“I make my livelihood by racing in NASCAR events. Racing is my life and career. However, I am not willing to put my life at risk driving a racecar on a NASCAR track with drivers testing positive for drugs that diminish their capacity to drive a racecar. “If drivers are on the track in violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, it presents serious questions as to whether or not it makes sense to put my life at risk.”
Gordon later took back his words when Mayfield was granted an injunction and was allowed to race again, as he said to ESPN’s Dave Newton, on the record:
“I never said anything about Jeremy Mayfield, that I didn’t want to be on the track with Jeremy Mayfield. At this point, right now I signed something that I said I would not want to be on the track with someone that tested positive, that positively had drugs in their system. I didn’t have any issues with Jeremy on the track prior to all of this going on. I don’t think that will change if he’s out there on the track anytime soon.”
In other words, Gordon has no problem with Mayfield racing in NASCAR. And evidently(as you will see in Newton’s article), neither do most other drivers, including Johnson. So that will likely be what is brought up in court.
Unless, of course, Gordon and Johnson said other things about Mayfield off the record. Which they may very well have.
But wait…there’s more!
Now, for all the “Hendrick Haters” out there, why is this significant? Well, Mayfield’s case goes to court on September 13th, 5 days before the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Over the past few years, Johnson(and at times, Gordon) has been considered NASCAR’s “Golden Boy”, since he catches all the breaks and sometimes seemingly gets a little help from higher powers.
But if Johnson and Gordon both testify against NASCAR, why would NASCAR want to give them any help? Especially when they’re racing for the championship?
Not only is this move by Mayfield big for him; it may have enormous implications on who wins the championship.