Team Looks to Improve on Strong 2012 Results at the Monster Mile
CONCORD, N.C. (May 28, 2013) – Michael Annett will make his third NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start of the season this weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He overcame a speeding penalty and a near on-track accident at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway last weekend to record a hard-fought top-20 finish in his first race back in the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford since Daytona.
The Des Moines, Iowa native has eight starts at Dover, accumulating one top-five finish. Annett had his strongest showing at the one-mile concrete track last season. He finished 11th in the spring event and third in the fall event.
Richard Petty Motorsports has proved to be a force to be reckoned with at the “Monster Mile.” The team has 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and two NNS starts at the Delaware track over the past four years, earning two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes between the two series.
Comments from the No. 43 Flying J Travel Plaza Ford Mustang driver Michael Annett:
“Charlotte was a good first race back. It seemed like we came across every scenario possible to keep us from going to the front, but we held on for a top-20 my first race back. It’s not what I was hoping for, but I’ll take it. It’s definitely something we can build off of. The best part is that I felt great after the race; it felt just like getting out of the car after Homestead.
“I was itching to get back into the car before, and now that I have my first race back under my belt, I couldn’t be more ready to get back to where we left off last season. This team hasn’t skipped a beat, and we’re more than capable of going into Dover this weekend and getting a top-five finish. Last year, we finished third at Dover in the fall and just missed the top-10 in the spring, so I’m pretty optimistic for the weekend. I really like going to the ‘Monster Mile.’ I like short track racing, and this track fits my driving style.”
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Dover:
“Dover is pretty cool because it is a cement track and a lot like Bristol because you don’t have tire fall off. Changes make sense, and you can have really good practices at Dover because you’re not chasing tires. Goodyear has done a really good job with the tires they made for Dover, so it’s just a matter of making the right changes. I’d say the only handicap we have is the short amount of time we have to practice. We only have an hour and a half to get it all right. If you’re pretty close, it’s a fun time, and Dover is a really cool place to race.
“Our biggest focus for Dover, other than getting Michael comfortable and looking for speed, will be to try to keep the car off of the ground. The place is so high-banked and so fast, kind of like Bristol but times two. You have to really focus on keeping your car in the best aero attitude you can but not scrape the ground. When you scrape the ground there, you slow way down. It will be a little bit of a balancing act. Some race tracks you can just focus on aero, but this place is 50/50.
“I think Michael did a fantastic job at Charlotte for his first race back, other than the finish, which I think we were all disappointed in. He had no physical issues whatsoever and is hungrier than ever. He did a great job with the car and feedback. It was like he was never out of the car for three months and definitely picked up right where he left off. We were all probably a little subpar for qualifying; however, Michael showed his usual trait that he can just blast right through traffic when the race starts. We had a good race going other than a speeding penalty. It was going to be a good race, and we were on our way to a top-10. If you’re going to get a speeding penalty, you want to do it early, and we did ours late.”
Lopez and the No. 43 Pilot Travel Plaza crew will bring chassis number 703 to Dover. It was previously raced at Bristol earlier this year, where the team qualified 17th and finished 18th with Reed Sorenson behind the wheel.
About Richard Petty Motorsports
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneurs Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force and STP and Marcos Ambrose drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners Stanley and DEWALT. In addition, Michael Annett wheels the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is headquartered in Concord, N.C.
5-Hour Energy 200
Dover International Speedway
Saturday June 1, 2:00 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN/SiriusXM 90
Saturday, June 1, 11:00 a.m. ET