In lengthy interview, Jeremy Mayfield maintains innocence, refuses to undergo NASCAR treatment program (video)

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More than five years after being suspended indefinitely for failing a NASCAR-mandated drug test, Jeremy Mayfield on Wednesday again insisted he did nothing wrong to warrant his banishment from the sport.

And while he has settled other legal problems, Mayfield remains adamant he will not go through NASCAR’s Road to Recovery treatment program which could lead to his eventual reinstatement in the sport.

In a one-hour interview with SportingNews.com’s Bob Pockrass, most likely the longest interview Mayfield has given to date, he shed little new light or broke little new ground in his ongoing fight to clear his name and return to racing.

Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR for failing a drug test that indicated the usage of methamphetamine.

“I don’t use drugs, for sure,” Mayfield told Pockrass. “I don’t drink. I might have a couple of beers a year, maybe. … I don’t steal. I haven’t broke into any buildings and stole race parts and stuff.”

Mayfield again on Wednesday insisted the test, administrated by NASCAR consultant and drug testing/recovery program administrator Dr. David Black,  produced a false positive.

He continues to claim that a mixture of the doctor-prescribed hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall and the over the counter allergy medicine Claritin-D altered the test results.

Mayfield mounted a legal battle against NASCAR that extended for more than three years before he lost the case in court. The only way he can get back into the sport is to go through the Road to Recovery program, which is what NASCAR has required since he was first suspended.

But because Mayfield remains adamant that he will not go through the program, it essentially means his NASCAR career is over for good.

“The easy road would have been, ‘OK, yeah, I will do your road to recovery Dr. Black and I will go to your rehab,'” Mayfield told Pockrass. “But I just didn’t believe that that’s right. And I still don’t believe it’s right. … I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. And still don’t today.”

Mayfield is the only driver who has been suspended by NASCAR that has refused to go through the Road to Recovery treatment program.

By contrast, AJ Allmendinger was suspended in 2012 for using Adderall. He promptly went through the Road to Recovery program and was reinstated by NASCAR less than two months later.

In addition to the suspension, Mayfield has also incurred other legal troubles since then, including being charged with having stolen property on his former estate.

Mayfield eventually entered an Alford plea – in which a defendant agrees there is enough evidence to prove guilt against him or her, but does not admit to the act – to a pair of misdemeanor charges for possession of stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.

As a result, Mayfield avoided jail, the case was resolved and he has been able to move forward with the next phase of his life.

And that includes getting back to racing – but only at non-NASCAR sanctioned tracks and races.

He recently started a web site that further tells his side of what he and his family have gone through over the last five years, as well as restarting his racing career, including driving modifieds in an event this weekend at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C. (northeast of Greensboro).

Mayfield made 433 starts in his Sprint Cup career, earning five wins, 48 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes.

While it would seem Mayfield’s problems would all go away and he could resume his racing career if he only went through the Road to Recovery, that won’t be happening any time soon – if ever, he insisted again.

“You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in,” Mayfield said. “If you didn’t, you’re not American anymore.”

For more of Mayfield’s interview with Pockrass, click here.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“That was incredible,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum. “I’ve never dug so deep in my life. The adrenaline. I did that for the guys. I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend. But I’ve got to thank everyone on the whole team.”

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Blomqvist said he gained the lead because of a shorter fuel fill after he had worked on being efficient in the second-to-last stint.

“The team asked a big job of me with the fuel; I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time and obviously we had a bit less fuel to fill up, so I was able to jump him and then it was just a matter of going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line. And obviously, the opposition had to try too hard to make it work. I’m so thankful.”

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the first prototype championship for Meyer Shank Racing, which also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves.

“We’ve had in the last four years, three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win and the Rolex 24, it doesn’t get any better,” team co-owner Mike Shank told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”