Michael Annett Bristol Race Report

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, finished 10th in Saturday’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Despite a partially rainy afternoon and a caution filled race, Annett kept the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet out of trouble and secured his second top-10 finish of 2017.

With minimal practice time, due to rain on Friday, the Pilot Flying J team ended up qualifying 28th at Bristol. This was not the ideal starting spot being that Bristol is known for being a track that it is easy to get caught up in wrecks that happen in front of you. Annett made quick work of the cars in front of him as he advanced his Camaro seven spots to 21st in the first 10 laps. By lap 50, the No. 5 machine was riding 17th, but was one lap down to the leader. Lap 81 brought out the first caution of the day when the No. 16 of Ryan Reed hit the wall. Annett brought his Pilot Flying J Camaro to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to free the car up.

The Iowa native started Stage Two from the 20th position. By lap 104, Annett moved the Pilot Flying J Chevy up to 18th, but was battling a tight-handling car. By lap 155, the tightness had gotten worse and that forced the No. 5 Camaro back to 21st. Weather was on the way towards the race track and everyone knew it was coming. Unfortunately, the rain started coming down in sheets with only eight laps to go in the stage and forced a red flag which stopped the race. After the lengthy delay for rain, the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet roared back to life and completed Stage Two in the 21st position.

Stage Three proved to be the ultimate test of survival during the 300-lap event. Cautions sprung up in what seemed like every 10 laps. With the help from spotter Kevin Hamlin, Annett was able to zig-zag his way through multiple cautions that could have ended his day. Still one lap down, the No. 5 Chevrolet was charging hard every lap trying to get the lucky dog position and get his lap back. With 30 laps remaining in the race, the No. 4 of Ross Chastain cut a tire and hit the wall on the backstretch. Narrowly missing the accident, Annett moved up a position which made him the lucky dog. Cautions tend to breed cautions at Bristol Motor Speedway and Annett made it through another caution on lap 293. With three laps remaining, Annett restarted the race 12th and crossed the finish line 10th. This is Annett’s second top-10 finish of 2017 and he currently sits 10th in the Xfinity Series point standings.

Erik Jones took home the coveted Bristol Motor Speedway trophy today. He was followed by Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, and Daniel Hemric rounding out the top five.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet: “Racing here at Bristol is always crazy. You never know what is going to happen. At one point today we weren't even sure we were going to get this race in due to weather. Our Pilot Flying J team never gave up today though, we battled hard all day long, and got a top-10 finish out of it. This is the momentum we needed as we head to Richmond next week.”

About Pilot Flying J: Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers and 43 Boss Shops all of which accept MyRewards loyalty cards, Pilot Flying J’s loyalty rewards program. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 70,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,900 showers and more than 5,000 diesel lanes offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 14 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information.