Jeremy Mayfield: Can I come back?
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Suspended Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield wants to return to racing, and he let NASCAR chairman Brian France know that in a most unusual way.
Mayfield called Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" show Tuesday night and asked France, a guest of host Eli Gold, "if he's willing to accept the fact that I'd like to come back racing and if we could sit down and talk about it and figure out what we need to do to make that work."
If he's willing to accept the fact that I'd like to come back racing and if we could sit down and talk about it and figure out what we need to do to make that work.Jeremy Mayfield, speaking as a call-in guest on a radio show that included NASCAR chairman Brian France
Mayfield has been suspended since failing a May 2009 drug test, which later was revealed to be for methamphetamines.
France's response to Mayfield was to complete the same Road to Recovery program that driver AJ Allmendinger did last season after being suspended for violating the policy.
Allmendinger was suspended on July 24 and reinstated in late September.
"Well, Jeremy, you know the path back for you," France said on the show. "It's the path back for anybody. I've always hoped that you would choose the right path and not litigation and a bunch of other things. But that's up to you.
"You have a welcome mat out anytime you want. There's a stated process that AJ Allmendinger just went through. We welcomed him back, and it's terrific. That's up to you."
Mayfield, 43, insisted from the outset that the initial test was a false positive that came from mixing Adderall for attention deficit disorder with an over-the-counter allergy medicine.
The matter resulted in a long, drawn-out legal battle with the courts siding with NASCAR. During the litigation Mayfield was charged with possession of methamphetamine and 18 felonies involving stolen goods found during a November 2011 search of his North Carolina home.
During a court hearing on Monday, Mayfield told reporters he would consider a plea deal if it did not include jail time.
Mayfield did not immediately return messages Wednesday morning from ESPN.com. His wife, Shana, acknowledged on Twitter that it really was her husband on the show. She said it was "definitely not a confrontation."
"It was a cordial conversation," she wrote on Twitter.
Mayfield did not indicate on the show whether he would be willing to participate in the Road to Recovery program, but on Wednesday he told Sporting News he was willing to go that route. "Counseling [and] drug test, I;m OK with," Mayfield said via text, according to TSN. "Rehab would be a waste of time. ... [But] the answer would be yes I would consider [the recovery program], and I want to get back racing again.
After France's response on MRN, Mayfield concluded the bizarre call with: "OK, well, I appreciate that. I didn't mean to bother you on the show, but it's the only way I could get ahold of you and figured it would be a great opportunity to do that."