Monday, February 7, 2011

Where is the perspective?

   Something is wrong here.

   I hear lots of apologies from NASCAR driver Michael Annett over his arrest for drunken driving (among other charges) and promises of strict accountability from his Rusty Wallace Inc. team. And NASCAR promises to investigate as well.

   What I don't see is any real action.

   Annett was found to have a blood alcohol level of .32 following his arrest early Sunday morning. That's FOUR times the legal limit of .08 in North Carolina. This isn't a case of someone "having a few beers." This is a serious problem.

   Do some research. Lethal alcohol poisoning  - meaning enough to cause death in half the population - begins around .40. That means some people can die with a higher level and some with less. Annett was pushing the envelope to the edge here.

   And he wasn't just affecting himself. He had one passenger in his car and hit another car with four people inside. The total estimated damages of the two vehicles was placed at $10,000 by the Mooresville Police.

   So far, the most concrete information we have is from team owner Rusty Wallace, who assured NASCAR fans in an interview with ESPN that Annett would drive in the Feb. 19 season opener at Daytona.

   Are you kidding me? The LAST thing I want to be assured of is that Annett is going to get behind the wheel of another car, this time going 200 mph. Where is the perspective? The common sense?

   This young man has a problem that goes far beyond this accident. Get him help. It's not enough that he's sorry for what he did. He needs to think about everything that could have happened, but luckily didn't.

   Sometimes getting right back in the car is not the most important thing.


Speed TV will broadcast spring Richmond Nationwide race

   A combination of the NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs will send the April 29 NASCAR Nationwide Series race off ESPN and to Speed Channel this year.

   As I pointed out last week, a chart of TV start times for 2011 on had listed the network for that race as "TBD." NASCAR confirmed on Monday Speed will carry the race.

   “The Richmond race presented extraordinary scheduling challenges for us due to the NFL Draft and the NBA Playoffs," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. "We are happy that NASCAR fans will be well-served with the race airing on Speed, and we appreciate the cooperation of NASCAR and Speed in making this change.”

   Speed has long supported the Nationwide Series, having aired 44 practice and qualifying sessions just last season.

     “An exclusive NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Speed is a stout addition to our lineup,” said network president Hunter Nickell. “There is a real sense that the 2011 NASCAR season is building early momentum, so adding a Nationwide Series race to our full complement of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and all that we do from each track all season long adds to the excitement.”