The Get: Jeremy & Shana Mayfield
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - The red logo on a quiet Mooresville auto shop isn't instantly recognizable--yet. The people working inside the building hope one day it will be. They are engineering a comeback for a man who, at least in the world of motorsports, is a household name. "It is what it is. We got knocked down, beat down to the ground, we got back up and here we are," says Jeremy Mayfield.
He is adamant that he got a raw deal from NASCAR and from the media. That part of his story isn't new. What is new are the never-before disclosed details about his failed drug test and now, his plans for the future. With his wife Shana by his side (yes, they are still happily married) Mayfield is once again putting together a team: a dirt track race team. He says, "I wanna go back and go back to the grass roots of racing, where it all started, and it's where I started."
Where he ended up was on the wrong side of a battle with NASCAR. Mayfield supposedly failed a random drug test in 2009. NASCAR suspended him. The same year, Mayfield supposedly failed another drug test. In 2011, he was arrested for drugs and stolen goods. The Mayfields say the drugs were planted and the stolen goods were purchased from a guy who never told them they were hot. In the same year, a postal worker claims she is attacked by five of Mayfield's dogs. The animals are euthanized and the couple is ordered to pay $1 million. His NASCAR career was essentially over.
This past January, Mayfield took a plea deal in the drugs and stolen goods case. He says he agreed simply so his family could move on. He also paid $88,000 in restitution and is now serving 18 months probation. He says, "I do get these weird looks you know, when people first see you, they're like, 'Man, is that him?' They'll act like we're evil or something. Like we're bad news or something. And that's not the case at all."
Mayfield says NASCAR made an example out of him to show off their beefed up drug policy. He's said many times the only drugs in his system were Adderall, for his medically diagnosed ADHD, and Claritin-D for allergies. He says the combination of the two created a false positive for methamphetamines. Just saying the word "meth" draws a physical reaction from Shana. She says, "It's just amazing to me. You don't do a drug like that and not have effects."
Jeremy's also said repeatedly that he was denied his legal right to have an independent lab test the same urine sample NASCAR tested. He says, "All they had to do was say, 'Don't do that again. Don't take Adderall again. And if you do, we're gonna test you every week from now on. If you do (test positive), then you're suspended.'"
This is part of the story you haven't heard: a simple question Jeremy says he asked of Dr. David Black, the owner of the lab contracted to provide drug testing for NASCAR. Jeremy says he asked Black, "Isn't there an ingredient you put in the test itself that takes out the psuedoephedrin, which takes out the Claritin-D, right?" Mayfield says the doctor replied, "'Yes, yes there is an ingredient we put in.'" Mayfield says he asked, "What's the name of it?" He says Black replied, "'Um, I don't recall.'" Mayfield says he replied, "Oh, you don't recall?" Mayfield goes on to say, "That day, before any court happened, we did have attorneys at that point, but that was the first meeting we had with him. He didn't remember what the name of the compound he put in there to take out (psuedoephedrine) and doesn't even know it. He admitted he doesn't test, he's been done with that for years, but he tested mine. So when you hear all that, it makes you wonder. It makes me wonder."
NASCAR tells WCCB, "This is old news and a closed topic in our sport. We have nothing else to say."
Another moment the Mayfields say the media never got quite right: the controlled burn of their former property in December 2013. Before the burn, the bank had foreclosed on it and it was re-sold. Shana says, "We hadn't had that place in a year and a half and never lived in it. I mean, it was just a big, empty property that meant absolutely nothing to us. We never slept a night in that house, we were gutting it to remodel it, so it's not like 'Oh my God, how do you feel that your house is burning down?' Really could care less, because it's not our house."
Shana says through it all, she has never doubted her husband. She knew they'd lose their property, cars, everything, to finance their fight against NASCAR. She never wavered. She says, "I married him, he's still the guy I fell in love with. It was for better or for better worse, and if my husband had a problem or if he's the person they said, one, I wouldn't still be sitting here, two, I'd have gotten him help."
They are both recovering--financially. Shana got a job working full time at a doctor's office. She stops by the race shop a couple times a week. Jeremy's at the shop a lot, working on his new team and spending some time buying, selling, and trading antiques. They say they have more of their story to tell and will do it, documentary style, on the new Mayfield racing website in the next few weeks.
So why now?
For Shana, the answer is deeply personal. She says, "One day, our kids are gonna look back at this and read all this stuff, and we have to right this wrong somehow."
For Jeremy, talking about what happened is his path to a second chance. To make his comeback. To get back up. He says, "There's a lot more people out there that got a lot more problems than we got. I promise you. All we're trying to do is say no matter what happens, you can get right back up."
The Mayfields also talked with WCCB News @ 10 anchor Morgan Fogarty in detail about that alleged dog attack on a postal worker on their property. You can find that segment here.