Richard Petty Motorsports Nationwide Race Report – Bristol


Michael Annett

No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang

American Muscle

Michael Annett started the 300-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway from the 21st position. Annett finished the Ford EcoBoost 300 as follows:

11th—Michael Annett, No.43 Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang

·         Saturday marked Annett’s third top-15 finish in just four races with Richard Petty Motorsports.

·         Annett made his 109th NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend.

·         The Iowa native fought a loose car in the early laps of the event and lost a lap to the leaders on Lap 70. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez elected not to pit the No. 43 Pilot Flying J car under the second caution period of the race and Annett was given the wave around allowing him to restart on the lead lap in the 14th position.

·         A loose condition continued to hinder the No. 43 machine throughout first half of the 159.9-mile event and the Richard Petty Motorsports crew made a myriad of adjustments to the Pilot Flying J car and after each pit stop the No. 43’s handling improved.

·         Annett ran in the top-15 for the majority of the 300-lap event and by Lap 230 was clicking off lap times as fast as the leader.

·         Elliott Sadler claimed the victory Saturday afternoon in a race that saw the caution flag wave four times for a total of 30 laps.

·         Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the highest finishing Ford in sixth position in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

·         Unofficially, Annett sits in eighth place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings heading into California next weekend.

Annett’s Thoughts After the Race: “That was a hard earned 11th-place finish in the Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang here at Bristol Motor Speedway. My car got better and better as the race went on and Philippe (Lopez) and the crew did a great job with making adjustments. Bristol is always a tough track and I’m just thankful I was able to stay out of trouble and bring the No. 43 home in one piece. This was our third top-15 in just four races and being with a new team I couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.  I’m really impressed with everyone’s hard work and dedication. We learned a lot at our first 1.5-mile race last week, so I’m looking forward to California and continuing our streak of good finishes.”

Next up in NASCAR Nationwide Series action is the Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway, March 24, at 5 p.m. ET. The event will be broadcast on ESPN and MRN Radio.

Be sure to follow Richard Petty Motorsports on Twitter @RPMotorsports for behind the scenes updates, driver appearance information and qualifying and race updates. You can also check us out on Facebook.

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