NASCAR calls mandatory driver meeting

Updated: May 21, 2009, 7:58 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- NASCAR has called a mandatory meeting for all Sprint Cup drivers and team owners for Tuesday morning at the Research and Development Center in Concord.

Spokesman Ramsey Poston said it would be a town hall-type meeting to discuss the state of the sport.

Chairman Brian France and president Mike Helton will attend to answer any questions. Poston said the hope is to have the meetings on a more regular basis.

Speculation in the garage was the meeting is to clear up the confusion created by Jeremy Mayfield's indefinite suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.

Many drivers have been outspoken on whether NASCAR should make public the drug Mayfield tested positive for and whether the governing body should provide a list of substances that are tested for, as is the case in most sports.

Poston said that is not the purpose of the meeting, adding if drivers have any questions about the drug-testing procedure they will be addressed. He said the timing around the Mayfield incident was coincidental.

"We'll discuss anything they want," Poston said.

Mayfield, who hired Charlotte-based attorney Bill Diehl to represent him, has claimed from the start that he did nothing wrong and that his positive test was the result of combining an over-the-counter drug for allergies with a prescription drug.

Mayfield and Diehl met with NASCAR officials at their request on Thursday at the R&D center. Diehl said the meeting was "productive" but that nothing was resolved.

Poston also said the meeting was productive, adding that NASCAR used the opportunity to lay out the process and procedure of the testing and to explain to Mayfield the process he must undergo to be reinstated.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter