Racing takes backseat on All-Star night

May, 16, 2009
CONCORD, N.C. -- We are gathered at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star Race. Actor Kevin Costner is here jamming with his band. Montgomery Gentry is here doing its thing. Some hot new country music artist named Jessie James is here trying to get more exposure.

It's a festive mood.

A bit humid, but festive.

Unfortunately, we have spent much of the weekend talking about Jeremy Mayfield's indefinite suspension from NASCAR because of a failed drug test.

Mayfield insists the positive test was the result of combining an over-the-counter drug for allergies with a prescription drug. NASCAR disagrees.

This standoff could be resolved easily. Mayfield has the document sent to him by NASCAR outlining the results of the test. All he has to do is make that public and, if the drug is what he says it is, his case will be heard.

I doubt we'll ever see that document.

As Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in his own special way, this isn't rocket science.

"Don't do anything stupid and you won't get caught," he said. "That's ridiculous. Nobody deserves anything, no lists, nothing. Don't do drugs. Don't do stupid stuff.

"Everybody wants to know what the hell Jeremy did. That's his business and NASCAR's business and they'll handle it. Don't take drugs. It's stupid to do anyways. Regardless if you drive race cars or not, it's a dumb idea. Don't be ignorant."

This may be the smartest thing NASCAR's most popular driver has said. It's definitely a nice break from why he and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. seemingly can't communicate.

So point taken.

It's time to focus on the track and other dramas that certainly will come out of this no-holds-barred race.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter



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