Michael Annett Michigan Race Report

Michael Annett had just settled in for the start of Stage 2 on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, looking forward to putting his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet into position to compete for victory in the Irish Hills 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars when an accident ahead of him ended his day.

Annett, who restarted in 22nd position after pitting for four tires on the Stage 1 break, was in the high line as the field exited Turn 2 when Brandon Jones’ car spun on its own. The Iowa native was running directly behind and was hit under braking, sending him into the car of Ben Kennedy on the inside. The resulting contact severely damaged the right front of Annett’s Chevrolet Camaro and the push into the crash did some more to the right rear.

Annett got the damaged JR Motorsports machine to pit road and to the attention of crew chief Jason Stockert, who calmly directed the repair efforts until the crew discovered the crash had knocked a hole in the oil cooler. That ended the repair effort and Annett’s race.

Annett had a fast car, qualifying in ninth spot for the initial start, and raced in the top 15 all the way through the 30-lap Stage 1. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a small adjustment at the end of the stage, setting him up for a solid run in the shorter Stage 2 and a chance to make some noise in the final run to the checkered. The premature end to the No. 5 team’s day left Annett in 37th place at the end of the race, and he sits 10th in the points after 13 races.

Denny Hamlin won the race in a thrilling last-lap battle with JRM teammate William Byron. JRM’s Elliott Sadler was third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch. Ty Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Reed, Jones and Cole Custer rounded out the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team: “We had a really good Pilot Flying J Chevrolet this weekend, and I hate that we couldn’t show it. We were deep in the pack for the restart after Stage 1, and the 33 just broke loose off Turn 2. I was right behind him, and the 96 car (Ben Kennedy) was right underneath me. There wasn’t any place to go. The right front of the car was all torn up, and so was the right rear. We got to pit road and started to fix it, but then we saw we had a hole in the oil cooler. We’ll go on to Iowa and hope for a better outcome at my home track.”

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