Michael Annett and his No. 7 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet SS team were one of 24 teams to be caught up in an incident Sunday at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Fortunately for them, the damage was minimal and couldn't deter Annett from drafting his way to a 16th-place finish, the best of his young NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.
Annett qualified a season-best 17th in a wild knockout qualifying session on Saturday and bided his time in the draft during the race on Sunday in an attempt to avoid a multi-car accident, with which Talladega has become synonymous over the last two decades. Hovering between the 24th-place position and 33rd, Annett avoided incident for the first 100 laps, a span which included three pit stops for minimal adjustments.
On lap 138, an accident triggered by a lapped car included Annett and 13 others. The only real damage was flat-spotted tires - something easily replaceable - and the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing team remained on the lead lap, heading into the final 40 laps of the race in contention for a good finish. He gained a total of seven spots over the course of this span, moving from 28th to 21st in time for a race-deciding green-white-checkered finish.
Annett maneuvered his way to 16th before a caution flag on the final lap ended the race prematurely. For him, the finish was the best of his rookie season in the Cup Series.
MICHAEL ANNETT QUOTE:
"That was a cool race right there. We came out of that (lap 138) accident unscathed, which was great. We were fortunate to barely hit anything, because there were cars spinning everywhere. The car handled well especially in that last part of the race and I'd like to think we could have picked up more spots on the green-white-checkered if not for the caution, but this Pilot Flying J Chevrolet SS is in one piece and my TBR team got a good finish."
Rising Star PR