CONCORD, N.C. (June 11, 2013) - Michael Annett and the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers team will head to Michigan International Speedway looking for redemption after a late-race accident in last week's race at Iowa Speedway. Damage from the two-car incident prevented the No. 43 team from completing the race, relegating the Des Moines, Iowa native to a 30th-place finish.
Annett has four starts at the two-mile, Michigan track, with an average finishing position of 15th. His best start at Michigan is 17th (2010) and his best finish is 12th (2012). With the Pilot Travel Center team's strength at larger tracks and the ability to take risks for the win, the No. 43 team has high hopes for a strong run this weekend.
Have a question for the driver of the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford? Head out to the Ford Display in the Fan Plaza on Saturday, June 15 from 9:30-9:45 a.m. ET for a question and answer session with Annett.
"Going into Michigan last year, we weren't really sure what to expect with the repave. This year we know that the track is going to be really fast with a ton of grip. As a team, we typically do well at the larger tracks, so now that we have an idea of what to expect going into the weekend, I really think we can improve on our 12th-place finish from last year. The Nationwide series only goes there once a year but the Cup teams visit Michigan twice, so we're lucky to be able to get some additional information from our Cup teammates.
"It's cool to go to Michigan because that is where Ford's headquarters are located. We actually get to go out a day early and tour the facility, learn about the products and meet with the employees. The company had their 200th Nationwide Series win last weekend, but we would love to give them their 201st win right in their backyard."
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Michigan:
"It's Michigan, so that means automatically you better have good gas mileage because chances are it's going to come down to gas mileage at the end and who has the best. Michigan has so much grip that you can take some more chances on your car not being in full down force mode, so to speak. Some guys are going to push that too hard, it has a lot of grip but it's not Daytona or Talladega. We'll be wide open in qualifying, but when it gets to the race, you still have to handle and you still have to get around other cars so we're going to err towards the side of being a regular intermediate track. We'll give up a lot in qualifying, but that's ok, it will pay off in the race.
"The track is ultra smooth. Handling, from a ride perspective, is not an issue. It's like glass, and you can trim your car out a little bit, which you couldn't do in the past. In the past, it was all about how much grip and how much down force because you were slipping and sliding after three laps. The track is very fast."
Philippe Lopez and the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers team have prepared chassis number 752 for Michigan. The same chassis was raced at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year with Reed Sorenson in the driver's seat. Sorenson qualified 25th and finished 15th.
Richard Petty Motorsports