Fri, Jul 17, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Last remaining Mayfield Motorsports employee quits

AP , CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

The last remaining employee at Jeremy Mayfield’s race team said on Wednesday he resigned because he doesn’t believe Mayfield Motorsports will return to the NASCAR track.

Bobby Wooten, general manager of the first-year team, said his resignation had nothing to do with Mayfield’s ongoing battle with NASCAR over a failed drug test. Mayfield was suspended on May 9 for testing positive for what NASCAR said was methamphetamines.

Mayfield has denied ever using the illegal drug and blamed his positive test on the combined use of Adderall for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Claritin-D for allergies.

“I think Jeremy is telling the truth. I back him 110 percent,” Wooten told reporters. “I don’t believe Jeremy is a drug addict. I do believe he could have taken one too many over-the-counter drugs, and now this situation has popped up.”

Wooten, who has spent nine years as a police officer in North ­Carolina, said he knows from his time on the job that drug users are capable of hiding the abuse and fooling those around them. But he said that, since his February hiring, he never suspected Mayfield of being under the influence of an illegal drug.

He testified to that in a sworn affidavit that US District Court Judge Graham Mullen took into consideration when he lifted Mayfield’s suspension.

“I have never seen Jeremy under that pretense,” Wooten said. “And he was around us four and five days a week, 12 hours a day. Typically, if you are an abuser of this particular drug, you can’t go without it for that long of a time. I did not ever see that in Jeremy.”

Ownership in Mayfield Motorsports was transferred to Shana Mayfield after her husband’s suspension, and she told reporters last week the couple was considering selling the team.

“He’s got six completed race cars, equipment, a tractor trailer — assets to sell,” Wooten said.

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