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Jeremy Mayfield

Jeremy Mayfield

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Share PrintShareRICHMOND, Va.

— Dario Franchitti hasn't lost his touch at Richmond International Raceway.The former IndyCar Series champion and 2007 race winner on the smallest oval in the series won the pole position Friday for tonight's race on the 0.75-mile oval.Franchitti averaged 167.315 mph over four laps on his return to the track in an open wheel racer.

He dominated at Richmond in 2007, leading 242 of 250 laps, including the last 179.Scott Dixon, Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, earned the outside spot on the front row with a speed of 166.638.

In other news • Sprint Cup qualifying rained out — A midafternoon downpour washed away NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Loudon, N.H.The lineup for Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 will be set by owner points, with series leader Tony Stewart starting from the pole despite crashing and having to move to a backup car in Friday's opening practice.

• Nationwide changes restarts — The Nationwide series will emulate the top NASCAR circuit by using double-file restarts with the leaders at the front throughout races, beginning with the event at Daytona International Speedway on July 3.Just as the Sprint Cup series has moved away from having lapped cars next to the lead cars on restarts, the Nationwide drivers will line up according to the standings for restarts.

• Mayfield denies taking drugs — Jeremy Mayfield denied ever taking methamphetamines, doesn't know how he failed a random drug test and said his indefinite suspension from NASCAR has ruined his driving career.Mayfield's denial comes in an affidavit that was among several hundred pages of documents filed by his attorneys in U.S.

District Court.

He has been suspended since May 9 for failing a random drug test conducted eight days earlier at Richmond International Raceway."I have never taken methamphetamines in my life, and when accused of taking them I immediately volunteered to give another urine sample," Mayfield said in the affidavit, which also says his offer of a second sample was denied.
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