Michael Annett Richmond Race Report

Michael Annett, driver of the No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, finished eighth in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Consistent runs throughout the day landed Annett his second consecutive top-10 finish and advanced him two spots up to eighth in the Xfinity point standings.

The 30-year-old started his day off by qualifying in the 12th position, which gave him great track position for the 250-lap event at Richmond. Stage One consisted of one long green-flag run where Annett rode most of the way in the 12th position. By the end of the 75-lap stage, Annett only gave up one position to finish 13th. The call over the radio was that the No. 5 car was in need of rear grip. Jason Stockert (crew chief) opted to pit for four tires, fuel, wedge, and a track-bar adjustment.

Restarting 14th in Stage Two, Annett battled hard for position with teammate Elliott Sadler and ultimately surrendered the position. The yellow flag flew through the air on lap 117 and the No. 5 team opted to stay out and hold their fresh tires in reserve for the end of the race. Upon restarting 15th, Annett obtained minor damage to the right side nose and got shuffled out of line. While Annett corrected and saved the No. 5 Camaro, he did slip back to the 17th position and would finish there as the green and white checkered flag came out ending Stage Two. Annett queued up the radio and informed the No. 5 team that his Camaro was tight getting in the corner and free on the exit. Annett brought the Pilot Flying J car down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and additional adjustments.

The final stage proved to be the one with the most action. Annett started from the 17th position and only lost one spot as the caution flag flew on lap 182 for fluid on the racing surface. Annett reported that his No. 5 Camaro lost a lot of rear grip and was in need of forward drive. At this point in the race, Annett decided to stay out and work with what he had. The Pilot Flying J Chevrolet picked off four more cars and was running 14th when the yellow flag waved at lap 240. The No. 5 team opted for tires only on pit road to help maintain track position. A caution at lap 247 would bring out the red flag as well as advanced the No. 5 Camaro to eighth place. This caution forced NASCAR into a green-white-checkered finish. The final caution on the second to last lap froze the field and ended the event as the leader had crossed the line making the race official. Annett rolled across the start-finish line in eighth and this finish marks his highest finishing position of 2017.

Kyle Larson took the checkered flag home from Richmond today. He was followed by Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Austin Dillon, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet: “For not having the handling that I wanted, I will definitely take this eighth-place finish. This is the second top-10 finish in a row for our Pilot Flying J team. I feel like we are all connecting better and I am proud of the job the guys did all weekend. Our confidence is up and that is the direction that this team needs to go. We still have some things to work on, but we are in a good place and getting better every weekend.”

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.