Yokoso! Daytona Mooresville, N.C. (February 3, 2009) -- As the 2009 season approaches, Michael Annett gets the opportunity to return to Daytona and defend his 2008 win. Annett has teamed up with Hattori Racing Enterprises to run in the...
Mooresville, N.C. (February 3, 2009) -- As the 2009 season approaches, Michael Annett gets the opportunity to return to Daytona and defend his 2008 win. Annett has teamed up with Hattori Racing Enterprises to run in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 7, 2009, making international headlines with the No. 01 Yokoso! Japan Toyota Camry entry. Annett's win in this same race last season, along with a unique sponsorship collaboration, make this event a huge excitement for the driver and his Hattori Racing Enterprises team.
"I'm really anxious to start the season. I haven't been in a speedway race since this time last year, and coming back as the defending champion gives me something to look forward to," says Annett still holding tight to his 2008 Daytona ARCA/REMAX Series win. "I'm exited about working with Hattori Racing Enterprises for this event."
Not only is Annett eager for the 200 mile competition, but so is his HRE Crew Chief Mike Abner. "Michael is the defending race winner for the Daytona ARCA RE/MAX Series race, so we know he'll do an awesome job for us. If everything goes like it did for our test at Talladega in January, we should have a very respectable finish."
Speedway racing has been good to Annett in the past. His last two races at superspeedways have resulted in victories while competing in the ARCA 200 at Daytona in 2008 and in the ARCA/REMAX 250 at Talladega in 2007. In addition to Annett's two ARCA Series wins, the driver also holds successful finishes of four top fives and five top tens, and one Sim Factory Pole award in only six starts.
Annett's No. 01 HRE Toyota will be highlighted with a special paint scheme advocating Yokoso! Japan, which translates to "Welcome to Japan." The scheme was designed to promote tourism in Japan, and was crafted by a long-time friend of car owner Shigeaki Hattori, famous Japanese artist Hajime Tsutsui of Tokyo, Japan.
With high hopes, Hattori commented, "To bring home a victory from Daytona would certainly bring lots of attention to the Yokoso! Japan campaign. Helping the Yokoso! Japan campaign succeed in bringing more tourists to Japan would be as special to me as adding a Daytona victory to our race team's accomplishments." In their first American auto racing advertising effort, Yokoso! Japan is hoping to bring tourists to Japan, while supporting the young driver in his attempt bring home his third straight superspeedway victory. Annett won the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega in 2007, then followed it up by winning the ARCA 200 one year ago on the famed high banks of Daytona.
Annett knows how important this distinctive sponsorship is to Hattori and how special it is to the sport. "It's exciting to be representing a new sponsor. The Yokoso! Japan sponsorship gives auto racing great international support and visibility."
During Speedweeks at Daytona, Annett will be performing double-duty as he's not only set to compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200, but also the NASCAR Nationwide Series kick-off on Saturday, February 14, 2009. The green flag drop for the ARCA/REMAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway is set for 4:15p.m. EST. A live TV broadcast can be viewed on SPEED at 4:00pm EST. The following weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 can be viewed live on ESPN2 at 1:00p.m. EST.