Jeremy Mayfield, the suspended NASCAR driver facing felony drug and stolen property charges, was among the callers to a radio talk show on which NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was a guest.
While Mayfield's legal matters remain open in Catawba County Superior Court, the former driver's attorney, David Freedman, and the district attorney could be moving toward a plea bargain. "Communication is open," Mayfield told the Hickory Record.
"We'll see how it goes."
He faces felony charges of possession of methamphetamine, three counts of felony possession of stolen goods/property and felony obtaining property by false pretense. Mayfield said he hopes a potential deal will allow him to avoid jail time.
Suspended by NASCAR in May 2009 after testing positive for methamphetamine, Mayfield reached out to the NASCAR boss during a segment of "NASCAR Live" on Motor Racing Network on Tuesday.
"I thought I would just call in and see how you guys were doing" Mayfield said. "Haven't been around much to talk to you guys lately, and just wanted to ask Brian if he's willing to accept the fact I'd like to come back racing and if we could sit down and talk about it and figure out what we need to do to make that work."
France paused momentarily, then responded:
"Well, Jeremy, you know the path back for you it's the path back for anybody," France said. "I've always hoped you would choose the right path and not litigation and a bunch of other things, but that's up to you and you have a welcome mat out anytime you want," the NASCAR chief said. "There's a stated process that AJ Allmendinger just went through and we welcomed him back, and it's terrific. That's up to you."
"OK, well, I appreciate that," Mayfield responded. "I didn't mean to bother you on the show, but it's the only way I could get ahold of you and I figured it would be a great opportunity to do that."
Mayfield, a native of Owensboro, Ky., won five times and had nine poles at NASCAR's top level before his suspension. He also is credited with 96 top-10 finishes.