A.J. shouldn’t be only one nailed

Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger has been put on probation by NASCAR for the rest of the year after he was arrested for drunk driving early Thursday morning in Mooresville, N.C.

On a Breathalyzer he blew a 0.08. There’s no excuse for drunk driving. Period. He has a court date on Dec. 18 and the least NASCAR should have done was put him on probation.

But how did Michael Waltrip get off for having a blood-alcohol level of 0.06 last week when he made a U-turn in front of motorcycle? The rider was injured and hospitalized.

Waltrip was ticketed for failure to yield.

He should have been booked for drunk driving and NASCAR should have taken action too. There was alcohol in Waltrip’s system, and he could have killed the biker.

But considering how often Waltrip crashes on racetracks when he’s sober the cops must have figured he just doesn’t know how to drive.

Hard to believe there are double standards, especially in NASCAR.

Copart’s drag racing connection

Kenny Bernstein can thank Henderson’s Sam Schmidt for getting Copart Inc. (copart.com) to extend Bernstein hall-of-fame career in drag racing at least through 2010.

When Budweiser decided to end its 30-year run of sponsoring Bernstein in drag racing and get out of NHRA entirely, he insisted he would not be back next year unless he had a sponsor.

(Any drag racing fan who still drinks Bud now owned by InBev of Belgium must not really be a drag racing fan. The beer isn’t that good anyway.)

One of Bernstein’s good friends and is Joe Murdaca, a Northern California restaurateur and drag racing fan. Murdaca mentioned to another of his friends, Copart prez Jay Adair, that Adair’s company should talk to Bernstein about sponsoring the Top Fuel dragster driven by Brandon Bernstein.

Kenny and Adair talked and Adair was the soon-to-be former Budweiser King’s guest at July’s NHRA national event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Within a couple months Adair became a fan of drag racing and bigger fan of Bernstein’s.

Now here’s how Schmidt is a key factor in the deal.

Schmidt, who owns a team in the Indy Racing League, was quite an entrepreneur before committing to IndyCar racing (he won the IRL race in Las Vegas in 1999).

Schmidt was involved with Copart in the late 1980s when Adair joined the company founded by Willis J. Johnson. Schmidt and Adair remained good friends. A couple years ago, Adair called Schmidt when Copart began looking to expand marketing more heavily to consumers.

Of course, Schmidt began pitching motor sports and the Indy 500 but Adair was looking more toward an affordable way to reach the NASCAR crowd.

“Sam said something about the NASCAR truck series and I didn’t even know they raced trucks,” Adair says. “I never followed any form of racing.”

Copart sponsored a NASCAR Nationwide race this year and supported a few Camping World Truck Series drivers. Next year, the company will sponsor Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards for half of the Nationwide races.

And in 2010 Copart will add Bernstein’s team and might sponsor an event on the NHRA pro tour.

It wouldn’t have happened without Schmidt’s advice.

Check back

I’ll be blogging each day from the LVMS dragstrip this weekend. I wonder how many people I can aggravate over the next three days?

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