Jeremy Mayfield considers selling race team
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C.(AP)—Unable to find funding since his suspension for failing a random drug test, Jeremy Mayfield is considering selling his race team.
Shana Mayfield said Thursday she and her husband are considering selling their remaining inventory because they don’t have the cash to field a race team. Mayfield transferred ownership of the No. 41 Toyota to his wife following his May 9 suspension.
“We are looking at all options at this point, since we cannot get sponsorship,” Shana Mayfield said.
Jeremy Mayfield told ESPN earlier Thursday that he had a meeting scheduled with a potential buyer on Monday when NASCAR summoned him for a drug test. It was the first indication he might not bring Mayfield Motorsports back to the track.
A federal judge issued an injunction last week that lifted the indefinite suspension and allowed Mayfield to return to competition. But Mayfield has not traveled to the two races since the ruling.
NASCAR, which has said Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamines, has asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen’s decision and impose the suspension.
Mayfield said after Mullen’s ruling that he intended to travel to last weekend’s race at Daytona International Speedway. He instead issued a statement hours before the start that said the tight turnaround left him unable to prepare a car in time to make it to Daytona.
He said he was “working around the clock” to get the team to Chicago.
“Shana and I, as well as everyone at Mayfield Motorsports, will do everything in our power to race next weekend.”
John Buric, an attorney for Mayfield, said Mayfield won’t make it to Chicago. He said the driver has been viewed as a “pariah” since his suspension and can’t find sponsorship or a team owner willing to give him a ride. Without funding, Buric said Mayfield doesn’t have the money to get his team up and running.
“You need employees, people to do the work for you, people to get the car to the track, food and lodging for the people you bring to the track,” Buric said. “With no sponsor, that’s not something he can do right now. Not when you are spending a ton of money on lawyers in a fight against NASCAR.”
Mayfield said in an affidavit he’s laid off 10 employees since the suspension, borrowed money from family and sold personal assets to meet his living expenses.
He’s also being sued for $86,000 by Triad Racing Technologies for parts, pieces and chassis work he allegedly owes the company.
It’s not clear what Mayfield has to offer a potential buyer. He only started his team in January and said at the season-opening Daytona 500 he only had 15 employees. He leases his shop space, and likely doesn’t have anything to sell beyond cars and the points he earned from the 11 races he entered.
Shana Mayfield entered J.J. Yeley in the two races following Mayfield’s suspension, but she has not sent the car to the six events since then.