Thursday, July 2, 2009
Kahne says test procedures increasing
By David Newton
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne says NASCAR has stepped up its drug testing procedure since the suspension of Jeremy Mayfield.
Kahne said the tests he took prior to the suspension were "in and out" in five to 10 minutes. He said his most recent test two weeks ago at Infineon Raceway took nearly 40 minutes.
"It's a process now," Kahne said on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. "Every little step you have to sign your name or initial, work with the person that is taking the sample.
"To me that's because of the whole Mayfield incident, to clarify everything and make sure the driver and also the person taking the sample is on the same page."
NASCAR's procedure was under attack when attorneys were seeking a temporary injunction to get Mayfield's suspension lifted, which it was on Wednesday by a federal judge in Charlotte, N.C.
Attorneys for Mayfield questioned whether Mayfield saw the seal put on his "A" and "B" samples.
Kahne said he always has watched the collector put on the seal, but that the process wasn't so detailed before.
"At the start of the year you'd go in, take a sample, they'd go through and sign your name and you basically walk out," he said. "You watch them pour the A and B samples into the capsules, sign your name and leave.
"Now every step you have to initial every step that goes on through the whole process."
Juan Pablo Montoya, who was tested at Dover in early June, said there is a lot more paperwork now.
"I did it at Daytona [in February] and it was a little easier," he said. "[At Dover] it was like proof of who you are. I'm like, 'I'm a freaking racer.' "
Three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has not been tested since Mayfield's suspension, but said he's had to wait on other drivers who were and it's taken longer.
He noted at Sonoma Kahne held up things because he had to go get his driver's license, something that he didn't understand to be required previously.
Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon said the procedure has changed "slightly," that there was an additional piece of paper he had to go through at his latest test.
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Aegis Laboratory, which runs the sport's test program, put into effect within the last month a few procedures to ensure that the process was consistent at all tracks. He said the Mayfield case did not factor in this decision.
"They just want to make sure we're consistent on every test," Poston said. "It's just a matter of more initials, more validation. All of the big stuff is the same. This is just a matter of documentation."
Drivers didn't seem to mind the changes.
"It's just getting more in depth," Kahne said. "Which is great."
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.