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Kickin The Tires

Michael Annett scores first top-five of 2020 at Pocono

Photo By: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo

By: Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

It took 12 races into the season, but JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett captured his first top-five of 2020 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

Annett started 12th in the 90-lap event from Long Pond, Pennsylvania’s Tricky Triangle. A race plagued by nine yellow caution flags, including one on the very first lap.

Each time though, Annett was able to avoid being a part of any of the carnage that would end a number of his competitors days, one of those cautions being an accident that caught up all three of his JR Motorsports teammates.

The first two stages of the event saw Annett finishing fifth and sixth. During the final stage of the day, he continued to consistently pick off cars and run solidly in the top-10 running order, even though his No. 1 Pilot / Flying J Chevrolet was under tight conditions all day long.

On lap 69 of 90, race leader [Chase] Briscoe spun with a flat tire bringing out the eighth caution of the afternoon. Annett would stay out on track and restart the race in the second position but his Chevy quickly fell back to fourth. He continued to run there until the final caution of the day waved on lap 85 as [Chad] Finchum hit the wall in Turn 2.

With that caution, Annett brought his No. 1 Chevrolet down pit road to the attention of his crew for four fresh tires, and a chassis adjustment. Restarting in the 13th position, it took Annett only the two laps remaining to work his way all the back up to the fifth position as the checkered flag waved. His first top-five finish of the season and his first since a fourth-place finish at Kansas Speedway last fall.

“We were just too tight all day to really push the leaders, but Travis [Crew Chief Travis Mack] kept us in it with some strategy calls and we got to fifth,” said Annett in a team press release. “We were just [too] tight when it counted. That’s something we could have fixed if we had some practice, but it’s a top-five finish and we’ll take that.”

Additionally, Annett’s fifth place finish is also a career best in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway. His previous best finish was eighth last year.

“Great job all day from the No. 1 Pilot Flying J team and my spotter, Jason Jarrett. We’re going to Indy next week and we’ll have some momentum for the road course there.”

Next up, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard on Saturday July 4 at 3:00 PM ET on NBC. The JR Motorsports driver currently sits ninth in the driver points standings, 160 points behind leader Chase Briscoe.

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