Michael Annett Watkins Glen Race Report

Michael Annett and the No. 5 Pilot Flying J team pieced together a solid and consistent effort that netted the group a 16th-place finish in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen. The finish marked Annett’s second-best at the facility in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition and leaves him only two points outside of the top 10 in the championship standings.

Beginning with a 27th-place starting spot, Annett made quick work of competitors and jumped five positions to 22nd by the race’s first caution on lap six. Reporting a tight condition on board the No. 5, Annett settled in just outside the top 20 through Stage One. When the second caution of the day waved prior to the end of Stage One, several lead cars opted to pit and the Pilot Flying J team cycled to 15th for its conclusion.

After pitting during the stage break for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help with grip levels, Annett lined up for Stage Two’s green flag in 21st. Positionally, things remained relatively unchanged during the second stage, that is until varying pit strategies came into play under caution on lap 35. While a handful of leaders hit pit road, crew chief Jason Stockert kept Annett on the track, a call which gained the No. 5 team seven positions on the racetrack. Annett would restart in 13th and do battle for a top-10 finish in Stage Two, narrowly miss out on the spot to take the stage break in 11th.

Now, it was Annett’s turn to hit pit road for full service while the leaders stayed out. After things cycled through, the Pilot Flying J entry was shown in the mid-20’s for the final-stage restart. He improved a handful of positions to 19th, and then as the field pitted under green-flag condition, he raced as high as fifth before coming to pit road for a scheduled stop. Once back on the track, Annett transitioned to 18th and narrowly avoided a pair of spinning competitors in the carousel portion of the track several laps later. He emerged unscathed and secured two more positions before the checkered flag fell to finish 16th.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet: “We managed a decent day with our Pilot Flying J team. Watkins Glen is the type of place that sometimes trouble just finds you. Fortunately for us, we kept ourselves clean all day, and Jason (Stockert, crew chief) made some good calls from atop the pit box to keep the car driving well for most of the race. We’ll take it and hopefully build on it with an even better result next weekend.”

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