Mayfield doesn't want to be distraction at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jeremy Mayfield wasn't at Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night's race, citing the media attention on his legal fight with NASCAR as an unnecessary distraction from the Independence Day celebration.

NASCAR suspended the former Nashville driver May 9th for testing positive for methamphetamines, and he sued to be reinstated. On Wednesday, a federal judge issued an injunction clearing him to return to competition.

But he didn't enter his Mayfield Motorsports team and had no ride lined up for the race.

He and wife Shana issued a statement at the same time the pre-race driver meeting began at Daytona.

He says, "Honestly, this is the last thing Shana or I want for anybody. This weekend shouldn't be about a questionable drug test or a flawed drug testing system. It should be about celebrating our country, the greatest country in the world."

Mayfield said he hoped to be at next week's race in Chicago.

NASCAR has been critical this weekend of Mayfield's absence from Daytona, questioning why he needed an emergency hearing to be reinstated if he had no intention of immediately returning to competition.

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