Michael Annett wins Xfinity Series opener at Daytona for his first victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – 230 starts.

That is how many starts it took Michael Annett to finally find victory lane.

Annett kicked off the new season by earning his first career victory at Saturday’s NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at the sport’s most historic track, Daytona International Speedway.

Annett held off his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier on the final lap to get the checkered flag.

“This is amazing. My first words were ‘Eight years’ – it’s been eight years in this series,” Annett said in Victory Lane. “I can’t do it without these guys. They stuck with me when everybody would count us out. Some people wonder why I get to drive this car, and I think we showed it today.

“Our slogan this year is ‘One team, one dream, one goal’ and this was one of them. So, we’re starting off good.

“I was waiting for a second line to get formed. I know they tried, but it just wasn’t there,” he said. “When it hadn’t formed with about three (laps) to go, I knew they weren’t going to have enough steam to get us.

“I was just worried about my teammate. I knew he was going to push hard and I knew he was going to go for it. I just had to keep him in my mirror and keep the gap right.”

Brandon Jones came home third, Ryan Sieg was fourth, and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-five.

Completing the Top 10 were Christopher Bell (his best finish in a season opener out of his four full-time NASCAR seasons thus far), Jeff Green, John Hunter Nemechek, defending series champion Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott.

On Lap 71 of the scheduled 120-lap distance, NASCAR threw a caution after one of the roof flaps from Brad Keselowski’s No. 12 Ford flew off his car and landed in the infield grass. Keselowski took his car to the garage and was done for the day.

“I felt like I was back in the ’50s running a convertible here on the beach. That was interesting,” Keselowski said. “The roof, escape hatch, whatever it is called, looks like there was a defect from the factory on the body and just nothing we could do.

“The guys tried to fix it, but it is in a spot where you can’t get to it and work on it. It is made the way it is made. We are stuck.”

Michael Annett assumed the race lead on Lap 76 when the race got back underway. However, it did not stay green for very long. Just four laps later, Ray Black Jr. lost control on the backstretch and spun into the grass to bring out the yellow.

With 30 laps left in the race, Annett remained at the point followed by Allgaier, Jones, Sieg, and Cindric right behind him.

Michael Annett, who missed the playoffs a year ago, stretched the Speedweeks streak of first-time winners to three with a victory. Austin Hill won on Friday to pick up his first career Truck victory, while Harrison Burton scored a win in the ARCA Series season opener in his first career race at Daytona.

JR Motorsports has won this race four out of the last five years.

Xfinity Series Race
Unofficial Race Results for the 38th Annual NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona – Saturday, February 16, 2019
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, FL – 2.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 120 Laps – 300. Miles

Fin Str Vehicle Driver Team Laps Stage1Pos Stage2Pos Pts Status
1 3 1 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J/American Heart Assoc Chevrolet 120 0 9 42 Running
2 15 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 120 0 7 39 Running
3 16 19 Brandon Jones Juniper Toyota 120 5 2 49 Running
4 8 39 Ryan Sieg Larry’s Hard Lemonade Chevrolet 120 7 0 37 Running
5 13 22 Austin Cindric MoneyLion Ford 120 10 3 41 Running
6 11 20 Christopher Bell Rheem Toyota 120 8 6 39 Running
7 21 93 Jeff Green Nightowl Contractors Inc Chevrolet 120 0 0 30 Running
8 14 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Fire Alarm Services INC Chevrolet 120 3 0 37 Running
9 1 2 Tyler Reddick Pinnacle Financial Partners Chevrolet 120 9 8 33 Running
10 7 8 Chase Elliott(i) Aftershokz Chevrolet 120 0 4 0 Running
11 18 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 120 6 0 31 Running
12 10 98 Chase Briscoe # Nutri Chomps/Chewy.com Ford 120 0 0 25 Running
13 6 10 Ross Chastain Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet 120 2 1 43 Running
14 38 0 Cole Custer Jacob Companies Ford 120 0 0 23 Running
15 2 18 Jeffrey Earnhardt iK9 Toyota 120 4 5 35 Running
16 30 35 Joey Gase Medic Air Systems Inc/AGRI Supply Toyota 120 0 0 21 Running
17 4 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 120 1 10 31 Running
18 28 86 Brandon Brown # Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet 120 0 0 19 Running
19 22 66 Timmy Hill VSI Racing/Overkill Motorsports Toyota 120 0 0 18 Running
20 32 52 David Starr Whataburger Chevrolet 120 0 0 17 Running
21 17 4 Scott Lagasse Jr Rimrock Devlin Chevrolet 120 0 0 16 Running
22 24 36 Josh Williams JoeFroyo/All Sports Coffee Chevrolet 120 0 0 15 Running
23 20 38 Josh Bilicki DR Squatch Soap Chevrolet 120 0 0 14 Running
24 26 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet 120 0 0 13 Running
25 29 78 Vinnie Miller JAS Expedited Trucking LLC/Koolbox Toyota 120 0 0 12 Running
26 31 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Toyota 120 0 0 11 Running
27 35 15 BJ McLeod BTX Global Logistics/Run the Race Chevrolet 120 0 0 10 Running
28 34 13 Max Tullman Zoomi Toyota 120 0 0 9 Running
29 12 90 Caesar Bacarella Alpha Prine/MAXIM Chevrolet 119 0 0 8 Running
30 33 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet 119 0 0 7 Running
31 19 17 Chris Cockrum ADVANCED COMMS GROUP Chevrolet 118 0 0 6 Running
32 37 42 John Jackson James Carter Attorney at Law Toyota 118 0 0 5 Running
33 27 99 DJ Kennington LORDCO Auto Parts Toyota 113 0 0 4 Running
34 5 8 Gray Gaulding GGPURE.com Chevrolet 110 0 0 3 Running
35 36 74 Mike Harmon AIR One Heating and Cooling Chevrolet 108 0 0 2 Running
36 25 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 90 0 0 1 Engine
37 9 12 Brad Keselowski(i) Fitzgerald USA Ford 71 0 0 0 Roof Hatch
38 23 1 Stephen Leicht OPAV Experience It Chevrolet 24 0 0 1 Overheating

NASCAR Xfinity Series Unofficial Driver Points
After the Daytona International Speedway
38th Annual NASCAR Racing Experience
300 at Daytona

RankDriverVehiclePoints
1Brandon Jones1949
2Ross Chastain1043
3Michael Annett142
4Austin Cindric2241
5Justin Allgaier739
6Christopher Bell2039
7Ryan Sieg3937
8John Hunter Nemechek #2337
9Jeffrey Earnhardt1835
10Tyler Reddick233
11Noah Gragson #931
12Justin Haley #1131
13Jeff Green9330
14Chase Briscoe #9825
15Cole Custer023
16Joey Gase3521
17Brandon Brown #8619
18Timmy Hill6618
19David Starr5217
20Scott Lagasse Jr416
21Josh Williams3615
22Josh Bilicki3814
23Garrett Smithley013
24Vinnie Miller7812
25Matt Mills511
26BJ McLeod1510
27Max Tullman139
28Caesar Bacarella908
29Ray Black II77
30Chris Cockrum176
31John Jackson425
32DJ Kennington994
33Gray Gaulding83
34Mike Harmon742
35Jeremy Clements511
36Stephen Leicht11
37Chase Elliott(i)80
38Brad Keselowski(i)120

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