Annett's Good Run Halted by Cut Tire, Broken Shock Mount
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Michael Annett and his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet SS team finished 35th in Sunday afternoon's 400-mile race at Dover International Speedway, but his effort during the event didn't show in the final result due to a cut tire and a broken shock mount.
Annett started 39th, but quickly jumped to 32nd in the running order after 12 laps, utilizing the high line to enter corners and the bottom line to exit them. By lap 50, he was running 28th.
After receiving the free pass and pitting on lap 67, he was 26th in the running order. Running 21st prior to pitting on lap 128, Annett was experiencing his first real handling issue of the race. Crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion called for a wedge adjustment in an effort to free the car up, making the handling more palatable for the young driver. During this time, Annett received another lap back via the free pass.
At this point, Annett's race turned from good to bad due to various maladies, none of which were his or the team's doing.
While running 22nd on lap 157, Annett radioed to his team to check the nose of his car where a piece of concrete came up from the track and made contact. Ultimately the concrete contributed to clogging the brake ducts. Repaired with bear bond, Annett experienced no more brake fade and continued to climb through the field.
On lap 273, while running 20th, Annett's right rear tire cut down. He pitted for repairs, but experienced a reduction in speed and felt there was still a problem with his Chevrolet SS. He pitted again on lap 278, when his Tommy Baldwin Racing pit crew noticed a broken shock mount. Repairs were made in the garage, off the track.
He returned to the track on lap 297 and salvaged a 35th-place finish, 22 laps off the pace due to the time spent repairing the shock mount in the garage area.
MICHAEL ANNETT QUOTE:
"That was the best car I've had all season. We put ourselves in position to get those free passes, and I felt - before the shock mount broke - we had some good speed, and a top-15 finish wasn't out of the question. I applaud the effort of 'Bono' (Manion, crew chief) and the guys. This was a good car and we experienced a lot of odd things today that kept us from getting the finish we deserved."
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