Solid Run at Thunder Valley Moves Michael Annett Up Eight Spots in NASCAR Nationwide Series Standings Bristol, Tenn. (March 23, 2009) -- In his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway Michael Annett was able to avoid ...
Solid Run at Thunder Valley Moves Michael Annett Up Eight Spots in NASCAR Nationwide Series Standings
Bristol, Tenn. (March 23, 2009) -- In his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway Michael Annett was able to avoid major mishap in Thunder Valley on Saturday. Holding steady in the top 15 for the majority of the Scotts Turf Builder 300 the young driver maneuvered his Toyota Camry around the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway staying near the front and avoiding any major damage. After cutting a tire in the final laps, the rookie finished the race in 20th position.
Annett's finish in the Scotts Turf Builder 300 moved the NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie driver eight spots in the Nationwide Series points standings to 22nd, only 75 points out of tenth place.
Not only was a great effort put forth by Annett, driver of the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks Toyota Camry, but the caution filled race also allowed the Germain Racing pit crew led by crew chief Bruce Cook to show their skills. The yellow flag was thrown ten times during the 300 lap race for a total of 62 laps under caution totaling four pit stops for the team.
Commenting on the performance of his No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks crew, Annett said, "I can't ask for more from my guys on pit road. They do a great job every week and Bristol was no different. They did an awesome job."
Annett was able to steer clear of the incidents that caused the ten cautions on Saturday. Starting 21st, Annett moved up quickly and stayed in the top 15 for most of the race. During the 9th caution with only 45 laps remaining the team elected to stay on track to lead a lap, as a result earning five bonus points toward the championship points chase.
"I was fortunate to avoid all the incidents that this type of track can breed and bring the car home in one piece," noted Annett. "Having Slugger (Labbe) as my spotter is a huge benefit and having on the roof is priceless. He kept me out of trouble all day.
Annett was running 13th on lap 295 when he cut the right front tire forcing the driver to pit under green. The rookie managed to re-enter the field before the checkered flag, finishing the race in the 20th position.
Annett remarked, "We've had a rough start to the season, and unfortunately our standing doesn't match the hard work and determination the crew and Bruce (Cook) have put into the season. It's disappointing to have the luck we've had at the end of the last two races. We're going to keep working hard and look forward to moving on to Texas, we're hopeful that the next race will reverse our luck and we'll come home with a top-ten finish that reflects all the extra effort this team puts forth."
The No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/HYPE Energy Drinks Toyota Camry will have a week off prior to returning to action at Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly 300 on April 2-4.