Jeremy Mayfield is a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and owner again after U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen granted Mayfield's motion Wednesday for a preliminary injunction to force NASCAR to lift his indefinite suspension for a test that NASCAR says was positive for methamphetamines.
After nearly two hours of testimony by NASCAR and Mayfield attorneys, Mullen found the financial harm Mayfield is suffering by not driving is more than the potential harm to NASCAR and that Mayfield has a likelihood of success on the merits of his case.
“This is huge for us,” Mayfield said outside the courthouse. “This means more to me than any race I've won or anything.”
Mayfield, who must comply with any requests from NASCAR to drug-test him, said he hopes to race either his own Mayfield Motorsports Inc. car or a car for another team this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Practice for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 starts Thursday.
Since the May 9 suspension, Mayfield has said in court filings he had to lay off 10 Mayfield Motorsports employees and a sponsor has backed out of its commitments - a commitment Mayfield now hopes to get back.
“I'm happy I can go back racing and just glad the justice system works like it does,” Mayfield said. “It might be a little late for this weekend, but we'll see what happens. I'm able to race, that's the main thing.
“The truth came out, and now I can go back and say we're clear of all this. I cleared my name, and now we can go racing again. That means more to me than anything.”
NASCAR can appeal the ruling and it can ask for the ruling to be suspended until a hearing before the appeals court. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said NASCAR would consider all options.
“We are disappointed, but we respect the judge's ruling,” Poston said. “This is only a temporary injunction. The legal case continues beyond this point, and we will continue to make our case.”
The judge said NASCAR can test Mayfield again to see if he is a danger but noted that Mayfield is harmed by not being able to compete and earn race winnings.