Richard Petty Motorsports
Michael Annett on Going to Road America: “It’s the fastest road course we go to all year, which makes for a challenging yet exciting race. We ran well at Road America last year and come home with a top-10 finish, so I’m really looking forward to going back and improving upon that this year. My Pilot Flying J Crew has done a great job giving me fast race cars this year, and I know they have prepared another great car for me this weekend. There is talk about possible rain showers in the area on Saturday, so that would make for some interesting racing if we have to bring the rain tires out.
"The most challenging part of the track at Road America is the kink near the back of the track, some of the driver’s even say it is the hardest corner in racing. Another challenge this weekend will be that the pit crew will have to fuel the car on the right hand side, as opposed to fueling the car on the left hand side as they normally do. It will be interesting to see how the crew does, because they will have to pit the car opposite of what they are used to.”
Annett on Racing as of Late: “We are happy with our consistency as of late, but we would really like to be finishing in the top-10 consistently, rather than in the top-15, which is what we have been doing the past month. We are really close to getting those top-10 finishes, we’ve just had a couple of mechanical issues and some bad luck that has cost us. We keep making improvements each week, and as long as we keep making gains the results will show for themselves. We are positioned solidly in the points and as our finishes improve so will our position in the points.”
Crew Chief Philippe Lopez’s Thoughts on Road America: “I always enjoy going to Elkhart Lake and racing at Road America, it’s a fast four-mile road course and unlike any other track we go to on the circuit. Michael seems to run really well there and his results from last year show that with a seventh-place finish. It’s a challenging track that really carries a lot of speed down the frontstretch. Track position will be key this weekend, so we are really going to work on our qualifying effort and hopefully get the Pilot Flying J Ford a starting spot up front.”
Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM NASCAR Nationwide Series team has prepared chassis No. 597 for the 50-lap race in Elkhart Lake, Wis. This Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang has not been run previously this season.
Notes: Annett has two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Road America. His best finish (7th) came last year and he has started in the 22nd position in both outings at the 4.008-mile track. Annett heads to Elkhart Lake in the seventh position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. The Iowa native has completed 100 percent (107) of laps attempted at the track. His average start is 22.0 and his average finish is 15.5.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL: Saturday Michael will turn 26-years-old. If you see him in Road America this weekend, don’t forget to wish him a very Happy Birthday!