Michael Annett Texas Recap

Michael Annett’s finishing position did not show how well he and the No. 5 Pilot Flying J team from JR Motorsports ran on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. Starting ninth on the final green-white-checkered with three laps remaining in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines, Annett spun on the final lap and dropped seven spots before the checkered flag waved.

On a tricky day at the windy 1.5-mile oval at Texas, Annett was the picture of consistency all day long despite being involved in a collision not of his making midway through the 200-lap event. Starting 16th, Annett was able to move up five spots thanks to a first-lap crash and climbed all the way to eighth in Stage One despite battling a tight condition in his No. 5 Chevrolet. He was 11th at the end of Stage One, and brought his car to the attention of crew chief Travis Mack for wedge and air-pressure adjustments along with four tires and fuel.

In Stage Two, Annett continued to run in the top 12 as the tight condition hung around, but a caution nine laps from the end of the 45-lap stage allowed him to come down pit road early for more tires, fuel and adjustments. That put him 15th for the run to the Stage Two break, where he finished 13th. Having pitted before the break, Annett took the green flag for the final 110 laps in sixth spot. Running on the outside line in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 97, Annett was battling with Brandon Jones when the latter’s machine slid sideways and body-slammed the Pilot Flying J Camaro. Annett held onto it for a bit, but ended up spinning and the caution flag came out.

With some damage to the fenders of the car, Annett hit pit road again for repairs and fresh tires—having to make two stops to avoid going a lap down—and returned to the race in 23rd position. The repairs were solid and Annett started to move forward, sitting 20th in two laps and 16th in three more. He was 15th when the caution waved yet again, and he took the opportunity to come down pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments to keep the tight condition at bay. Mack immediately told his driver to save fuel and sent him back out.

By lap 133, Annett had moved up to ninth as another caution waved and stayed out, using the same strategy a few laps later when another caution came out for a crash, moving up to seventh on the latter occasion. As cars played on different strategies, Annett steadied out in ninth place for the run to the finish and was in position to earn another top-10 finish before the spin on the final lap.

Michael Annett Quote: “I was trying to hold it wide open on the final lap and it just went around. We had such a good day here, and I was trying to get as far to the front as I possibly could there in the green-white-checkered. The 16th-place finish wasn’t what we deserved, but I am so proud of TMack (crew chief Travis Mack) and the rest of my Pilot Flying J team. We qualified well, raced well and were in the top 10 with the checkered flag in sight, and that’s what we’re capable of week in and week out.”

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.