Those memorable words came from late North Carolina State University men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano in 1993 during his speech when accepting the first Arthur Ashe Couage and Humanitarian Award.
Fallen NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield definitely isn’t giving up, and I’m not just referring to his legal battle against theft and drug posession charges. Mayfield hasn’t even given up competing as a NASCAR driver.
Just when you think you’ve heard the last from or about Mayfield, he gets himself right back into discussion. As far as attempting to get back onto the track in NASCAR competition, he went so far as to call into Eli Gold’s “NASCAR Live” radio show recently. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, the man Mayfield has repeatedly accused of conspiring to “black flag” him from the sport, just happened to be the special guest on Gold’s show Monday night, the night of Mayfield’s somewhat now infamous call.
I do have to say, though, the conversation between Mayfield and France was much more civil and calm than I would’ve imagined. For those who didn’t catch it, here’s some of what was said:
Mayfield: “I just want to ask Brian 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 would need to do to make that work.”
According to France, though, Mayfield already knows what to do. Here’s what France said in response:
“Jeremy, you know the path back for you. 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. That’s up to you. You have a welcome mat out anytime you want. There’s a stated process that A.J. Allmendinger just went through, and we welcome him back and it’s terrific. That’s up to you.”
The path France was referring to was NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program. Mayfield tested positive for meth back in 2009 and has been suspended ever since. In the time since, Mayfield has denied using meth while fighting various legal charges that have included theft and drug posession. He’s also unsucessfully sued NASCAR, making such claims that the sanctioning body’s drug testing policy is flawed and that NASCAR’s out to get him.
Anyway, the conversation ended with Mayfield saying that he didn’t want to bother France during the radio show, but it was the only way he seemed to be able to get in contact with NASCAR’s head guy. He went on to wish France and Gold a good night.
Guilty or not, Mayfield just did himself more harm than good by trying to fight NASCAR. If he manages to keep himself out of prison, maybe he should just suck it up and enroll in the Road to Recovery program. Sounds like he may actually have a shot at climbing back into a race car, if he does. If he avoids prison, maybe all Mayfield will have to do to have a racing future is simply swallow his pride. But with all his other legal troubles, it may be too late for that. Time will tell.
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