A North Carolina mansion, once owned by former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield, was scheduled to be burnt to the ground last December 14th as part of a training exercise conducted by the local fire department. However, harsh winter weather forced a postponement of the burn exercise. It was finally burned on the night of Thursday, December 19.

In 2006, Mayfield and his wife purchased a 12,000 square foot mansion, in North Carolina's Catawba County. The seven bedroom, seven bath, home was valued at $1.8 million.

Eventually the Mayfields decided to renovate their home themselves and began the process of removing the walls. The home was eventually stripped down to the windows and the electrical wiring.

In May of 2009 came the news that Mayfield had failed a NASCAR mandated drug test and was placed on indefinite suspension. Instead of opting for NASCAR's rehab program, that would have eventually led to reinstatement to the sport, Mayfield, instead, became defiant and challenged NASCAR by filing a lawsuit that questioned the validity of his test results.

Without his salary as a Sprint Cup driver, the legal bills mounted. On June 28th of last year Mayfield opted not to continue the lawsuit based on a judge's ruling that said Mayfield signed a waiver, as all NASCAR drivers and team members did, that said he was willing to comply with NASCAR's drug testing policy.

Jeremy Mayfield, Mayfield Motorsports Toyota
Jeremy Mayfield, Mayfield Motorsports Toyota

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

However, this was no where near the end of Mayfield's legal battles. In April of last year, the embattled driver was indicted on charges alleging possession of methamphetamine as well as possession of stolen property discovered at his home by local Sheriff's Deputies.

Later in the year it was announced that nine of the felony charges against Mayfield were dropped because a witness, crucial to the prosecution's case, had passed away. The charges were modified to nine felony counts filed in two different North Carolina counties.

While out of bail, Mayfield maintained his innocence but did say multiple times that he would consider a plea bargain if it did not involve jail time. Mayfield is scheduled to return to court next month for the latest round of hearings on this matter.

In early December of last year, Mayfield's home was officially repossessed by the mortgage company who held the note on the property. The renovation on the home that began nearly seven years ago came to an abrupt halt following Mayfield's suspension from NASCAR back in 2009. The property was eventually sold but the value of home dropped, from the original $1.8 million, to approximately $300,000.

It was recently reported by a local Charlotte-North Carolina television station, WSOC Channel 9, that the new owners no longer wanted anything to do with the house that was now badly damaged by time, neglect and harsh weather conditions. The initial plan was to demolish the home which would allowed the new owner to remove the structure from the county tax rolls.

However, later came the idea of asking the Catawba County Fire Department to burn the house down. The fire department was only too happy to comply and used the burn as a personnel training exercise.

Meanwhile Jeremy Mayfield remains as optimistic and defiant as ever. He truly believes that a no jail time plea bargain can be arranged and he truly believes that he will resolve past issues with NASCAR and return to racing someday.

Just prior to the scheduled burning of his former home, Mayfield sent out the following "Twitter" message: "Hate 2 see our previous residence burned down. However, I've always loved a good bonfire. Out of the ashes a phoenix will rise."

You have to admit that the man is interesting.

Dave Grayson