CONCORD, N.C. - Almost four months ago, Michael Annett received word that he would be sidelined from the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford for two to three months to recover from a broken and dislocated sternum that he suffered during a wreck in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.
The Des Moines, Iowa native will makes his 146th career NNS start this weekend. He has nine starts at the two-and-a-half-mile superspeedway with one top-five (Summer 2012) and two top-10s (Summer 2011, 2012).
Annett's best start at Daytona came in the Summer of 2009 where he started from the ninth position, and his best finish of third came in the Summer of 2012. Among NNS drivers, Annett ranks eighth in green flag passes with 1,361 passes under green flag conditions.
Fans heading to the race in Daytona can stop by the Ford Racing Display, located in the Midway, and ask Annett their questions on Friday, July 5th from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. ET.
Comments from the No. 43 Flying J Travel Plaza Ford Mustang driver Michael Annett:
"I'm not going into this weekend thinking about what happened the last time I was in Daytona. I'm going into this weekend just like any other race. We finished third in this race one year ago, and we're looking to improve on that by two positions.
We were running up front here at the beginning of the year before we wrecked. Everyone knows that anything can happen at superspeedways, so we just need to stay out of trouble and I think we'll be able to fight for the win at the end."
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Daytona:
"The biggest thing for this weekend will just be to stay out of trouble, which is very difficult to do at a superspeedway. We've been hard charging most of these restrictor-plate races, but we might look at laying back a little bit this time to try to avoid trouble. If you can get to the last 10 laps, you should be in good shape.
"Daytona and Talladega are the same; it's pretty much a crap-shoot. In Nationwide, we still do tandem racing, and it tends to lead to crazy, highlight-filled finishes. It's all about being in the right place at the right time.
"For any team, the second half of the season is always the better part. You tend to correct everything that didn't work the first time around, but unfortunately, every team does that so that makes every team that much better.
It comes down to doing a better job than your competition and getting a good idea of what the race track is going to do throughout the weekend and not just the race."
Richard Petty Motorsports