Michael Annett avoids jail time for DWI

Updated: July 22, 2011, 9:27 PM ET
Associated Press

GLADESVILLE, Tenn. -- NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett says he had been dreading his sentencing date for driving while impaired since his original arrest.

Annett entered his plea Friday in North Carolina District Court in Mooresville, N.C. He was given a suspended jail sentence of 120 days and sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.

He also was sentenced to 48 hours of community service and fined $200. He must forfeit his driver's license for one year. His sentencing was first reported by Scene Daily.

Annett then flew to the Nashville Superspeedway for the next race, but he hadn't had a chance to talk to his boss, Rusty Wallace, when he talked to reporters Friday afternoon.

"He was in the air at the same time I was, and we got here and got our heads on for practice," Annett said. "It hasn't affected us. Everyone knew the punishment. It's nothing new for the race team at all. He sees it the same way I do. It's just the first step in getting all this behind us."

Annett was arrested Feb. 6 after he ran into another car stopped at a light in Mooresville. Charges of resisting arrest, failure to reduce speed and unlawful use of a mobile phone were dismissed.

He is ninth in the Nationwide standings and is racing this weekend.

"We've continued to test Michael as a condition of his NASCAR probation," NASCAR said in a statement Friday. "He's been very cooperative and has done what we've asked of him. He appears to be doing everything he needs to in order to make this matter right."

Annett said he also talked about things with Rusty Wallace Racing and has done some counseling as part of an agreement that they keep tabs on him and he speaks up if he has a problem.

He also said he feels he let down sponsors, family and the race team. But he also noted the support he's gotten.

"I'm definitely humbled," Annett said. "It's embarrassing but it's not because there's so many people in this garage that have gone through it and been so supportive."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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