Michael Annett Bristol Race Report

Michael Annett finished 10th in the first race at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this season, and on Friday night he was looking squarely at finishing there again in his No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. He came close, bringing home a 12th-place finish in the Food City 300 and making his spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race much more secure.

Annett’s finish advanced him one spot to 11th in the points and gave him a 50-point cushion over the 13th-place driver in the standings with four races left until the playoffs begin next month at Kentucky Speedway.

Annett started the 300-lap race from 23rd spot and advanced as high as 14th in Stage One before ending up 17th at the break. Traffic was a problem most of the night, and Annett was trying to find the sweet spot on the high-banked .533-mile oval where his car would work the best. He tried both the high and low sides and had better success on the low line. At the break, crew chief Jason Stockert made air-pressure and wedge adjustments in addition to putting on four tires and adding fuel. The No. 5 crew ripped off a fast stop and gained one spot on the exchange.

In Stage Two, Annett took the green flag in 13th by virtue of a trio of speeding penalties ahead of him, and was 16th on lap 124 when the caution waved for a crash in Turn 2. Annett reported that his Camaro was extremely tight on the high line and he had trouble turning down because of it. Over the remaining laps in Stage Two, Annett put his head down and ended it in 14th. On the pit stop, Stockert went a little farther on his earlier adjustments and the crew gained another spot with its work. Another penalty put the 31-year-old Iowan back out for the final 130-lap segment in 12th.

He stayed right there through lap 217, when Tommy Joe Martins crashed to bring out the yellow. Stockert called Annett back to pit road for the last set of tires, fuel and some slight adjustments for the final 77 laps. Annett took the green on the restart in 12th, on lap 223, and cracked the top 10 four laps later. He held that spot until lap 240, when team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. got past on the high line, putting him 11th. He was running 12th with 17 laps to go when leader Kyle Busch put him a lap down, but another yellow waved for a crash on the front straightaway two laps later. Annett earned the free pass to return to the lead lap and held 12th place to the finish.

Michael Annett, driver, No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet: “We needed a rebound race, and we got it tonight. We had a pretty solid Pilot Flying J Camaro tonight, good pit stops and Jason (Stockert, crew chief) got it running really well in that last segment. That was the best car I’ve had here during that final segment, and we got the free pass there on the final caution. We needed some movement in the points and we got it, so that’s always a plus. We’ll put this one in the bank and head to Road America to hopefully do it again.”

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.