Michael Annett has been put on probation by NASCAR for the rest of the season after his DWI arrest on Sunday morning when he registered a blood alcohol content of 0.32.
His car owner, Rusty Wallace, told Bob Pockrass of Scene Daily that Annett would face internal sanctions at Rusty Wallace Racing, but that he wouldn't miss a race.
Wallace said that Annett didn't have a drinking problem and part of his reasoning for not parking Annett is, to be blunt, suspect.
“I have 65 employees and 65 families that are affected by this,” Wallace said. “The last thing I’m going to do is put everybody out of work because I’ve got to park the car now. Pilot Travel Centers is sponsoring his car because they love Michael, and he’s been a great kid for me.
“It’s not that he needs help. He just made a huge mistake. … I’m not going to have to let an entire team go because one man made one mistake. We’re going to address the one mistake that man made and keep everybody else employed and we’re going to go racing.”
Does anyone actually think that Wallace would have to park the entire race team if Annett was sat down at Daytona? Yes, Annett and Pilot are a package deal -- and Pilot's probably a large reason why Annett's at RWR -- but an unsponsored car for Daytona wouldn't affect any jobs nor push Wallace to the brink of bankruptcy.
What the NASCAR probation entails is still unclear. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were on probation for their kerfluffle over the course of 2010, but that was for on-track action. Would a similar incident during a race affect Annett's probation? We'll have to wait and see.
- Rusty Wallace
- Rusty Wallace Racing