Jeremy Mayfield

Mayfield pleads guilty to three misdemeanors, avoids jail time

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Former Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield (pictured, from 2012) has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors – two for possession of stolen goods and one for possession of drug paraphernalia – in a North Carolina court this afternoon.

However, Mayfield was able to avoid jail time and, according to the Charlotte Observer, will instead serve a 45-day suspended sentence along with an 18-month period of unsupervised probation. He will also have to pay $88,124.41 in restitution to victims as well as $1,100 in fines and other costs.

Mayfield was arrested in November of 2011 after local police conducted a search of his now-former home, which was recently burned down as part of a firefighters’ training exercise. The police found drugs as well as almost $100,000 in stolen goods in the search.

In November of 2012, Mayfield was kicked off the property. He must apply for reinstatement into NASCAR after the sanctioning body suspended him in 2009 following a positive drug test for methamphetamine.

After his court appearance this afternoon, Mayfield said according to the Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass that he would consider going into NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program if it would help him get back in the sport.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do now,” Mayfield said according to Pockrass. “We’re going to wake up tomorrow morning and figure that out…I’m not sure what I want to do yet.

“In some way [I want to race]. I’m not sure what way yet. I love racing. That is what I love to do and what I’d like to do, I’m just not sure to what extent or not really even sure that will be in our future.”

In a statement from Catawba County (N.C.) District Attorney James Gaither, Jr., the death of a key witness for the state was listed as a factor in Mayfield’s sentence.

That witness was a confidential informant whose information led to the search warrant on Mayfield’s home. However, he died in a motorcycle accident in 2012 following a high-speed police chase.

Per Pockrass, police found methamphetamine and scales in a compartment on the informant’s motorcycle. A passenger on the cycle was also killed in the crash.

Sainz uninjured, but to remain in hospital overnight

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Carlos Sainz Jr. will remain in hospital overnight following a terrifying crash during practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning.

Sainz slammed into the wall at turn 13 after losing control of his car, pitching in underneath the TecPro barrier at the end of the run-off area.

Medical crews spent 20 minutes extricating Sainz from his car due to the barriers’ placement before he was taken away to hospital for a check-up.

Sainz tweeted a picture to his followers confirming that he was okay, and Toro Rosso has now released a second statement confirming that the Spaniard was fully conscious throughout the crash and is uninjured.

“After arriving at the Sochi Hospital 4, Carlos Sainz, who never lost consciousness, underwent a medical examination, including a full body scan,” the statement reads. “The scan showed that the driver has no injuries.

“However, he will be staying in the hospital overnight as a precautionary measure, which is the normal procedure in these circumstances.

“We will release further information when it is available.”

Sainz tweeted that he was hoping to convince the doctors to release him from hospital early enough so that he could take part in tomorrow’s race, but any steps taken will be with his well-being in mind.

Rosberg charges to Russian GP pole in Sochi

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Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Sochi Autodrom.

Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:37.113 to edge out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by three-tenths of a second to score pole position in Russia.

Following on from its dominant display in Japan two weeks ago, Mercedes showed few signs of easing up at the front of the field as it stormed to another front-row lock-out.

Having traded fastest lap times throughout the earlier stages of qualifying, Hamilton and Rosberg renewed their battle in Q3 at Sochi, but it was Rosberg who finished on top.

Rosberg drew early blood in Q3 by going three-tenths faster than his teammate on his first run, and when Hamilton locked up late on and opted to pit, pole was safely with the German driver.

Valtteri Bottas finished as the best of the rest in third place, beating the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen who finished fifth and sixth respectively as all of the drivers struggled to improve on their second runs.

Nico Hulkenberg and Force India teammate Sergio Perez will start sixth and seventh, while Romain Grosjean qualified eighth. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.

Home favorite Daniil Kvyat was unable to delight the local fans as he would have liked to in qualifying, dropping out in Q2 by finishing 11th ahead of Felipe Nasr. Pastor Maldonado was also eliminated, finishing 14th, but it was Felipe Massa who was the biggest casualty of the second session, ending up 15th for Williams.

McLaren experienced something of a mixed qualifying session on Saturday as Fernando Alonso was knocked out at the end of Q1. Teammate Jenson Button managed to improve late on to dump the Spaniard out and leave him 16th overall, while the Briton went on to finish 13th in Q2.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson also dropped out at the first hurdle alongside the two Manor drivers, while Carlos Sainz Jr. took no part in the session following his practice crash. The Spaniard still hopes to take part in tomorrow’s race, but will remain in hospital overnight.