Michael Annett Dover Recap

Complete weekends are what Michael Annett and the rest of the No. 5 Pilot Flying J team are looking for every time out in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. On Saturday, in the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway, that’s what they achieved.

Annett qualified 18th for the 200-lap event on the banked concrete oval and ended up with a 12th-place finish at the end of the day, running directly behind JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler when the checkered flag waved. The Iowa native entered the top 15 after just 31 laps and stayed there the rest of the day, running as high as 11th in the final stage on the way to a solid result.

As has been the case for several weeks, Annett’s car was best on longer runs, and Stage One proved that the Pilot Flying J No. 5 would be a closer. Running 17th after 14 laps, Annett kept getting better as other cars fell off the pace, and with 15 laps remaining in the 45-lap opening stage, Annett was 16th. He was 15th four laps later and held that spot until Stage One came to an end.

Crew chief Travis Mack called his driver to pit road on lap 48 for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. The Pilot Flying J crew gained two spots on the exchange and sent their driver back out in 13th position for Stage Two. Dropping a spot on the green flag, Annett ran 14th for much of the 45-lap stage and held his position until the end at lap 90. That allowed Mack to make an air-pressure adjustment on the ensuing pit stop in addition to adding four more tires and fuel at lap 93, knowing that one more stop would be necessary to complete the event. The pit crew gained another spot for Annett, and penalties ahead of him in the field put him 12th for the 110-lap final stage.

Annett maintained 12th spot until lap 119, when he passed Ross Chastain for 11th. He ran 11th until Daniel Hemric, one of the cars penalized, passed him on lap 133. Back in 12th spot, Annett put his head down and maintained his position until lap 162, when the yellow waved for a crash. On pit road, Annett got four more tires and fuel, plus a wedge adjustment to help a tight condition on his Camaro, and headed back out in 13th spot. On the restart, Annett was in the middle of a duel between Playoff contenders Matt Tifft and Chastain, running the low side to get past Chastain once more.

Annett tucked in behind Sadler for the run to the checkered flag, keeping Chastain behind him the rest of the way.

Michael Annett Quote: “It was a pretty good day for the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet today. We started 18th, moved up early in the race and stayed in the top 12 or 14 all day long. We have been working on putting weekends together like this, and we’re starting to do it with regularity. That’s the main thing we want to carry over to the remaining races and into next season. If we hadn’t gotten tight that last run we might have been able to get to the top 10, and we were racing among some guys who were fighting to advance in the Playoffs. We stayed ahead of that and had a great day besides.”

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 in 44 states, Roadside assistance available at over 145 locations nationwide and growing as part of its Truck Care program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 34 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 72,000 parking spaces for trucks with Prime Parking at more than 400 locations, 5,200 deluxe showers and more than 6,200 diesel lanes with 5,200 offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information.