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.