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.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.