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
|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
|8||John Hunter Nemechek #||23||37|
|11||Noah Gragson #||9||31|
|12||Justin Haley #||11||31|
|14||Chase Briscoe #||98||25|
|17||Brandon Brown #||86||19|
|20||Scott Lagasse Jr||4||16|
|29||Ray Black II||7||7|