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Former Cup driver Mayfield in drugs arrest

3 November 2011

Jeremy Mayfield, the Sprint Cup driver indefinitely suspended by NASCAR after failing a drugs test in 2009, has been arrested following a police raid on his home in the western North Carolina town of Catawba.

Police entered his home on Tuesday evening with a warrant to search for stolen property, and they found 1.5 grams of what was believed to be methamphetamine.

"Upon the search of property, a small amount of methamphetamine, or what we believe to be methamphetamine, was seized and he was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine," said Captain Joel Fish.

As well as the drugs charge, Mayfield was also found in possession of allegedly stolen items from Red Bull Racing and two other local businesses worth approximately $100,000. The items were reported as consisting of heavy equipment parts, scrap metal, welders, welding accessories, various truck parts, an engraving machine, truck mirrors and electric motor controllers.

Police also confiscated 40 firearms to determine that all were legally registered and obtained.

A statement from Mayfield's lawyer said that the former driver "understands that the purpose of the search was to seize allegedly stolen property and that the investigators claim to have seized methamphetamine from his home.

"Mr Mayfield has no knowledge of either stolen property or methamphetamine being present on his property and denies the accusation that he was in possession of methamphetamine or any other illegal drug and he denies any suggestion that he knowingly received or possessed stolen property."

Attorney Daniel Marino went on to assert that "this search was prompted by what the evidence will show were baseless allegations by an unreliable source," and added that "Mr. Mayfield and his attorneys are cooperating with the authorities and they look forward to this matter being resolved quickly. In the meantime, Mr Mayfield asks that the public reserve its judgment on this matter."

Mayfield appeared in court on the felony charges on Wednesday and was released on bond, with the next court date set for November 14.

Mayfield remains the only driver to be suspended by NASCAR for failing random drug tests since their introduction in 2009. He is still appealing the suspension 30 months later, claiming that the positive test result stemmed from the interaction of an over-the-counter allergy medicine with the prescription drug Adderall used to treat his attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Mayfield subsequently filed a lawsuit against NASCAR that was dismissed by the state court on the grounds that he had set aside his rights to sue the sanctioning body when he signed to race for them. The case is currently before the US Court of Appeals, with the next hearing not expected to take place before January at the earliest.

Before his suspension, Mayfield had 433 career Cup and 36 Nationwide starts over the course of 16 years, with five Cup race wins and two Chase campaigns. His car owners included the Sadler Brothers, Cale Yarborough, Roger Penske, Ray Evernham and Gene Haas before setting up his own team Mayfield Motorsports shortly before his suspension.

In a separate story, NASCAR announced Thursday that Charles Day, a crew member for the #66 Cup HP Racing team driven by Michael McDowell, had been indefinitely suspended for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. Day was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of NASCAR's current rule book.


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