Suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield's earnings after a random drug test helped send his lawsuit against NASCAR to federal court this week, legal papers said.
A motion filed Tuesday said: "The Plaintiffs have already earned $96,000 in NASCAR events subsequent to Jeremy Mayfield’s random drug test screening on May 1, 2009."
NASCAR argued the case should be heard in federal court because the litigants reside in different states and Mayfield seeks damages exceeding $75,000.
Mayfield sued NASCAR last week alleging he was wrongly suspended May 9 for violating the sport's substance abuse policy. A judge had set a hearing scheduled for today, but that was called off after the case moved to federal court from Mecklenburg County Superior Court.
Federal Judge Graham Mullen has been assigned the case, court records show. No new hearing date has been set, said Paul Hendrick, attorney for NASCAR.
Mayfield is the first driver in the sport's top division to be suspended under a new drug-testing policy. Attorneys for NASCAR have said he tested positive for a “dangerous illegal” drug, but Mayfield said he does not abuse drugs.
Mayfield's suit alleges NASCAR did not follow proper testing procedures and failed to give him a chance to prove his innocence.
- Fred Clasen-Kelly