On a sweltering day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Michael Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J team worked from green flag to checkered flag to improve their position. At the end of the ROXOR 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series event, Annett’s No. 1 Chevrolet was scored in 11th spot.

The day belonged to Christopher Bell, who led 186 of the 200 laps to earn the victory. Behind him, however, the action was hot and heavy on the 1.058-mile oval and Annett was in the middle of that all day long. After qualifying 16th earlier in the day, Annett rolled off for the initial start on the top line, a decided advantage on the paperclip-shaped track. Over the first 10 laps, the Iowa native picked off three spots to run 13th and was running there on lap 32, when John Hunter Nemechek brought out the first caution flag by hitting the wall hard in Turn 2. After relaying that he needed more front turn in his Camaro, crew chief Travis Mack called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Following the stop, Annett returned to the track in 16th, still on the outside line.

On the restart, Annett wasted no time moving forward. He was 11th on lap 38 and stayed there through the end of Stage One. Staying out over the stage break, Annett told Mack that while his Chevrolet took off a little free, the car had good forward bite and the turn-in was decent. After pit stops, Annett lined up eighth for the Stage Two opener. He settled in and stayed in the top 10 for the entirety of Stage Two, finishing 10th and earning a stage point in the process. Coming to pit road for service, Annett took four more tires, fuel, adjusted air pressures and a small adjustment similar to that made on the first stop.

Starting the 102-lap final stage in 14th place, Annett immediately noticed that his car was very free, and he dropped a spot in the first few laps to 15th. With 85 laps remaining, he regained 14th place by passing Kaz Grala, and 15 laps later he moved by Justin Haley for 13th. At lap 139, Annett passed JRM teammate Noah Gragson for 12th just in time for the caution flag for debris to wave three laps later. Annett told Mack that he was lacking lateral grip and drive off the corners. Mack responded by bringing Annett down pit road for four tires, fuel and some changes to the adjustments made on the previous stop. The Pilot Flying J pit crew gained a spot on the stop, and Annett lined up 11th for the restart. It would be his first attempt at restarting on the bottom line.

Annett lost two spots on the first lap of green and another just after that, but a quick caution flag for an accident in Turns 1 and 2 allowed him to advance to 12th and restart on the preferred top line again. As the action around the track picked up Annett moved up and down the standings, as high as 12th and as low as 14th, before passing Haley again at lap 180 to take 11th place. With 11 laps remaining, the Iowa driver picked off JRM teammate Noah Gragson to move back into the top 10, but Gragson kept coming and retook 10th place with three laps remaining. Annett made a charge at the end but was unable to reclaim the top 10 at the checkered.

 

Michael Annett Quote: “New Hampshire is a place that is difficult to get around, and if you’re a little off it can be a long day. We had a good car at times today, but the heat and the track made for a lot of changes that had to be made. We tried a few things with our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet that we’ll take with us to Iowa next week, and thanks to Travis (crew chief Travis Mack) and the crew for working hard all 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 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.