CONCORD, N.C. (November 5, 2013) - Michael Annett and the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers team will be heading west for the last time of the season this weekend. The team continues to improve on their already strong short-track program as they head to Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway for the second to last race of the season.

Michael Annett
Michael Annett

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Annett has eight starts at the one-mile track, earning three top-10s. He earned his best finish of seventh in the fall race last year. Since the inception of Richard Petty Motorsports' Nationwide team in 2012, the No. 43 team has an average finish of 10.8 on short tracks that are one-mile or less. They've accumulated four top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes on short-tracks in two years.

In 2012, Annett's average finish was 8.36 on short tracks. He missed three short track races in 2013 but has an average finish of 14th. The team's average in 2013 is 13.5 with Annett behind the wheel in seven of the 10 starts, Reed Sorenson with two starts and Aric Almirola with one.

Comments from the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford Mustang driver Michael Annett:

"I'm really looking forward to Phoenix. We have a really good short track program, and if we unload as fast as we have been on these tracks, I think it's going to be a really fun weekend. We've earned one top-five on a mile track this year, and there's nothing stopping us from getting that win we've been searching for all season. We've only got two races left in the season, and right now, there's no better place to celebrate in the Winner's Circle than Phoenix.

"I know I've said this before, but the spring Richmond race was one of the hardest races for me to watch while I was out. I was excited to cheer on my good friend Reed (Sorenson), but he had a really fast car and I wanted to be the one driving it. That will definitely be in my mind this weekend if we can find the speed like we did at Richmond and Loudon. This time, I won't be sitting on the pit box, I'll be in the driver's seat."

Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Phoenix:

"What we did at Richmond is pretty much what we're going to do at Phoenix. We're very proud of our short-track program. We haven't had to stray far from it because it's been fast at Richmond, Phoenix and Loudon. You can move through the field at Phoenix if you're car is right. We're hopefully going to unload very fast and just tune on it a little bit and get ready to have a great race.

"I think Phoenix is a really cool race track. There's usually a lot of excitement around the fall race because of the Chase and all of the point battles. It's a racetrack that is totally different than any of the other tracks we go to because there is a dog leg on the back and if a driver wants to get greedy he can go down on the flat part, but they'll have to get back on the race track and that's when things could get exciting."

Richard Petty Motorsports