By: Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett drove to his third top-five finish of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Early In The Race
Annett started the 200-lap My Bariatric Solutions 300 on the pole after qualifying was determined by random draw.
Early on Annett fought tight conditions on entry but he was able to keep his No. 1 Pilot Flying J inside the top-10 running order for the entire first stage of racing. As stage one drew to a close, he found himself in the eighth position and informed his crew chief Travis [Mack] that he was too tight center out in the turns but tight across the bumps.
Mack called for four tires, fuel, a track bar and air pressure adjustment which set Annett up to start the second stage at the 1.5-mile track in the sixth position.
With stage two underway, Annett was able to crack the top-five running order on lap 57 but continued to deal with handling issues which shuffled him back to ninth in the running order. A timely caution for debris was just what the No. 1 team and Annett needed to regroup on the track. His JR Motorsports Chevrolet came in for four tires, fuel, and two chassis adjustments and ultimately was able to finish the second stage in the 10th position.
End Of The Race
On lap 108 fellow competitor Anthony [Alfredo] slapped the wall in turn 2, Annett’s crew chief made the decision to gamble and bring him back down pit road for tires, fuel, and another adjustment. Restarting in the 24th position, and later on having to gain a lap back due to the way others pitted, Annett was able to bring home his Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish.
“It was a really good day for our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. We were tight all day, and the bumps in Turns 3 and 4 were a constant headache, but we managed to pull out a top-six finish.” said Annett.” (Quote was prior to Kyle Busch being disqualified).
“Everybody on this No. 1 team wants to win and get good finishes, and we all worked together today. We had great pit stops, the best of the year even with the adjustments we were doing. We keep putting up good finishes and we’ll be all set for the playoffs.”
Annett’s top-five at Texas sees him sitting eight in the points standings, 210 points behind leader Chase Briscoe.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series now heads to Kansas Speedway for Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 250. In eight previous series starts at the track, Annett has one top-five and two top-10 finishes. His best finish is fourth last October.