Michael Annett and his No. 28 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry were on a mission from the word go at Rockingham Speedway this past weekend. After a four year racing absence, Rockingham Speedway reopened with an amazing turnout for the ARCA RE/MAX...
Michael Annett and his No. 28 Pilot Travel Centers Toyota Camry were on a mission from the word go at Rockingham Speedway this past weekend. After a four year racing absence, Rockingham Speedway reopened with an amazing turnout for the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Annett kicked things off on Friday afternoon with the first of two practice sessions. Running strong right out of the box, Annett topped the speed charts with a very stout run. Soon thereafter, Annett's motor took a turn for the worse. Not being able to run near as fast as before and with the motor making all kinds of funny sounds, the No. 28 Pilot crew went to work changing motors.
Working fast and hard, crew chief, Joe Lax and the boys had Annett poised and ready for the next morning's qualifying session. Going out about midway through the pack, the team crossed its fingers as Annett hit the track. Running a 24.717 second lap, Annett would solidly qualify in the fourth position.
As the green flag waved over the 50-car field Sunday afternoon, Annett immediately encountered trouble. On lap 11, he would be hit from behind forcing him to come to pit road under caution to fix the left front and left rear fenders. With Annett having to come to pit road for work as well as four tires and fuel, he would end up going a lap down early in the race.
However, the calm and collective rookie sensation buckled down and drove hard. As the next caution flag would wave on lap 24, Annett would become the Lucky Dog and get his Pilot Travel Centers Camry back on the lead lap.
Passing cars right and left on the one-mile track, Annett would vault his Toyota through the field and by lap 51, Annett was leading the race. With numerous caution flags waving throughout the next 60 laps, Annett would fight to remain in the top-10 due to old tires. As the sixth caution would wave on lap 113, Annett would finally get his chance to come in for stickers. Taking four tires and fuel, Annett would come off of pit road in the ninth position.
By lap 126, Annett was once again the fastest car on the racetrack and found himself fighting for the lead. With only two cars on the lead lap at this point, Annett and race winner Joey Logano would jockey the position of race leader until Annett's Camry would became too tight to handle.
Fighting his car throughout the remainder of the race and making many necessary changes on pit road throughout the next few cautions, Annett's car would eventually become worse. Now becoming tight in and off, Annett would have his hands full on the racetrack. However, the rookie showed his natural talent well as he still brought home a fifth place finish at "The Rock." His fifth top-five finish in eight races.