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DATE News (chronologically)
04/27/11
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Michael Annett’s DUI Arrest Highlights ‘Daddy’s Cash’ Drivers
Okay folks, time for multiple choice.

You get to ride shotgun with one of two people.

A) Randy LaJoie driving a golf cart around after sucking on a doobie.

or…

B) Michael Annett doing his best Mel Tillis/Terry Bradshaw “Cannonball Run” impersonation (6:37 mark).

Say all you want about banned substances, but Nationwide driver Annett’s DUI offense back in February (See related story) was much worse than two-time Nationwide champ-turned-broadcaster LaJoie accepting a joint while shuttling patrons around at last year’s Coca-Cola 600. Alcohol is a regulated substance, which means when used improperly it becomes just as illegal as Mary Jane.

Let’s consider for a moment Annett’s judgment. I just plugged his weight, 165, into www.bloodalcoholcalculator.org. Gang, let’s say he was drinking for eight hours. If he downed 26 LIGHT beers over that time period, his blood-alcohol level would have been 0.313.

Annett blew a 0.32.

If he had killed somebody on Long Island, where I live, he’d probably get second degree murder for such depraved indifference. LaJoie had, by all accounts, a momentary lapse of judgment.

LaJoie was suspended for just a hair more than two months while completing a mandated treatment program. If Annett gets anything less from NASCAR it’ll be a travesty. This is one time I’m glad Daytona Beach is as totalitarian as Cairo. No matter what the substance abuse policy says, at .32 they can park him under “conduct detrimental to NASCAR.” BALs between .35 and .40 can be fatal, so NASCAR can likely suspend him indefinitely and win any Jeremy Mayfield-esque court appeal by saying they’re acting in the driver’s best interest.

But the only thing more offensive than Annett’s conduct is Rusty Wallace’s. The former champ quickly announced a punishment for Annett that must have been inspired by Nicole Ritchie’s 82-minute stint in the clink. No suspension? Community service?

It’s not surprising, since Rusty’s been running a “bring Daddy’s cash, you’re allowed to crash” operation at his shop. Exit Brendan Gaughan and his pop’s casino, enter Annett and his father’s trucking company. Rusty’s not allowed to really discipline anybody. And let’s not even start about Rusty’s son Steve.

You know what, let’s do. There’s been a lot of kid gloves treatment of Steve out of deference to his dad. But Bob Dillner couldn’t ignore reality when he said on Tuesday’s “NASCAR Race Hub” that whispers are growing about Rusty buying Steve a spot in the Daytona 500 when the youngster is clearly out of his league.

The volume of undeserving drivers that have a ride robs the sport of credibility. And the increase of entitlement all but guarantees the kind of off-track issues that have permeated other sports. NASCAR’s days of drivers appreciating what they have because of their tough paths are certainly declining. As the world turns left

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