CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- NASCAR asked a federal judge Monday to reverse the ruling that lifted driver Jeremy Mayfield's indefinite suspension for failing a random drug test.
The motion filed in U.S. District Court asked Judge Graham Mullen to reverse the injunction he issued Wednesday that cleared Mayfield to return to competition. NASCAR also filed notice of its intent to appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Mayfield was suspended May 9 for a positive drug test, and NASCAR has identified the substance as methamphetamine.
Despite his reinstatement, Mayfield didn't try to qualify for Saturday night's race at Daytona International Speedway, citing a lack of preparation time, and he isn't on the preliminary entry list for this weekend's race at Chicago.
In its filing, NASCAR disputed Mullen's conclusion that the chance of a false positive on Mayfield's drug test was "quite substantial" and contended that Mullen relied on facts "outside the record, including the purported existence of reliable hair sample tests and same-day tests for methamphetamine."
NASCAR said Mullen didn't properly consider the reliability of assessments by Mayfield employees that the driver did not take meth; the sophistication and sensitivity of NASCAR-commissioned Aegis Laboratories drug-testing procedures that prevent false positives; and an affidavit from a Mayfield expert that found the level of meth in Mayfield's sample would make him a chronic user.
Mayfield attorney Bill Diehl argued to Mullen that the driver shows none of the physical characteristics of a chronic meth user and that if he tested positive at the levels NASCAR claimed, Mayfield would be "either a walking zombie or he's dead."
Mayfield, who could not find a full-time ride after his 2006 firing from Evernham Motorsports, started his own team this season and qualified for five of the first 11 races.
Mayfield was randomly drug-tested May 1 at Richmond International Speedway and suspended eight days later. He's missed eight consecutive races since his suspension, and his team has not traveled to the past six events.
Mayfield has blamed the positive test on the combined use of Adderall for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Claritin-D for allergies, but that theory has been rejected by NASCAR's drug testing administrator.