DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jeremy Mayfield says he stayed away from Saturday night's race at Daytona to avoid being a distraction on Independence Day.
Mayfield had planned to attend the race after a federal judge lifted his indefinite suspension Wednesday for failing a random drug test.
But in a statement e-mailed at the start of the pre-race driver meeting, he says his presence would have been a distraction. He says he based that on the media attention he's seen since his reinstatement.
Mayfield says this weekend should not be "about a questionable drug test or a flawed drug testing system" and the focus should be on celebrating the country.
He gave no indication when he may return to the race track.
Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.