Sunday, May 10, 2009

Havent we learned anything from baseball?

The 2009 season started with two people who are highly admired in NASCAR. Driver Jeremy Mayfield and Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin, both of whom started their own race team from scratch. Jeremy's team, Mayfield Motor Sports and Tommy's team, Tommy Baldwin Racing have both had their highs (making the Daytona 500) and their lows (struggling to make it into the following races and trying to get into the top 35 in points). I hold both teams with utmost respect.

After tonight, Jeremy Mayfield will no longer be known as a 5 time winning, NSCS winner and current driver-owner. He will forever be known as the first Cup Series driver suspended under NASCAR's still-new random drug-testing policy. Basically, this means until the Armani suits of NASCAR gives the green light, he will not be allowed to be a car owner, a car driver or even be around the car during race weekend.

Mayfield is quoted by saying “As both a team owner and a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I have immense respect for the enforcement policies NASCAR has in place. In my case, I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My Doctor and I are working with both Dr. Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter.”

Not to mention, this years first NASCAR's substance abuse disappointment was made by Paul Chodora, one of Jeremy Mayfields's Pit crew members.

This weekend, NASCAR also nailed Tony Martin, a crewman for the #34 Sprint team for Front Row Motorsports, (driven by Tony Raines) and Ben Williams, a crew member for the #16 Nationwide Series team for Roush Fenway Racing (who won Friday night with Matt Kenseth).

NASCAR series Vice President Jim Hunter would not specify what substances were taken, but did say the violations were for more than merely alcohol use.

NASCAR has had a very rough week in regards of drug testing. It started on Wednesday with the sudden death of Kevin Grubb, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at a Richmond hotel. Grubb was suspended in 2004 after testing positive for a banned substance. When reinstated, one of his conditions to return was that he had to submit to a drug test, anywhere, anytime. In 2006 he declined to adhere and NASCAR suspended him indefinitely.

Last year Aaron Fike admitted that he raced while on heroin. That was probably the biggest wake up call in the sport which brought this new drug policy on which I agree is well needed.

Now, many are asking what is causing these guys to fail the drug tests? How can you possibly abuse with the jeopardy of being caught? Hello A-Rod, Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez! According to NASCAR sources, it can be anything from NYQUIL, to fertility drugs, to mary jane or cocaine....basically whatever your drug of choice may be. If they decide that the drug you are taking (over the counter, prescribed or illegal) will impair your ability to perform, no matter how small or large, he or she has no business being there. Remember when Martin Truex Jr. had Kidney Stones in Atlanta this season? He went through the process without strong pain medication since he would've been in violation of NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy. That's smart (and painful) thinking people...

5 comments:

Kenorv said...

Until we know exactly what substance it was that Jeremy got busted for then I think it's unfair to criticize him for this.

There are a lot of things that fall under NASCAR's drug policy that wouldn't fall under other sports' policies. Prescription pain killers or anti-depressants for example, would be something that NASCAR wouldn't want their drivers using while driving. Anything that would impair a driver's ability would be cause for a suspension, even if it was legal and prescribed by a doctor.

I'm not saying that Jeremy is innocent or shouldn't be suspended. Whatever it was that he took, even if it was just prescription pain meds, is his responsibility and he has to deal with the consequences. All I'm saying is let's not jump to the conclusion that it was weed or cocaine or heroin. Let's not make Jeremy out to be a bad guy until we know all of the facts.

Nascarfashionistas said...

Kenorv,
Thanks for the comment. I hope that our article did not lead any of our readers to believe that we are criticizing Jeremy Mayfield. As we mentioned in the article, we hold Jeremy at highest respect.

No one outside of NASCAR and Jeremy himself know the exact cause of his suspension but at the end of the day, NASCAR made it abundantly clear to not take any drug that will impair them. Nor did we imply that it was "weed, cocaine or heroin". All we stated was that it could have been caused from an OTC such as NYQUIL, an RX or illegal drugs.

I hope our comment back isn't read as being harsh. I want to make sure you and everyone else know that we are not bad mouthing Mayfield. This is a touchy subject, especially when it is about someone of his status and it truly broke my heart when I heard the press conference yesterday.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

For what it's worth, I didn't think your post insinuated what it was that Mayfield was using - and it certainly didn't imply it was cocaine or heroin.

Allyson said...

Very sad day in NASCAR

Anonymous said...

As a pharmacist, I'm all for the responsible use of medications. But come on, have none of y'all taken cold medicine and driven to work? For a drug policy to put a driver in the position of not being able to take legitimate meds for legitimate ailments is a bit silly. But we are talking NA$CAR. Driving with stuffed sinuses and watery eyes due to allergies would probably have been just as dangerous (imagine sneezing 3 times in a row while goins 165mph) What's "Old Man" Gordon gonna take for his back pain? What's Jr. gonna take for his hangover headaches? What's Kyle gonna take for his sore jaw after he gets punched!? I hope this leads to some fine tuning on what unfortunately is a needed policy.