Michael Annett and his No. 1 JR Motorsports team started in the back in the Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway after an engine change. It resulted in a nerve-wracking start for Annett especially after he had to avoid all the carnage that came within the first few laps.
However, after the early chaos, it was Annett’s playoff hope to lose. The team ran their race and played strategy hoping to go onto the next round. At one point, all seven drivers were locked into the Round of 8 except Annett.
Annett’s luck came late as he and his team stayed out during the last round of green-flag pit stops hoping for a caution. His wish came true with a late-race caution with less than 20 to go. During that caution, the team brought the JR Motorsports driver down pit road for fresh tires and fuel.
Despite another caution toward the end and other playoff drivers up front needing to win to advance to the next round, Annett held on to finish sixth after having a little bit of luck at the end.
“It’s Dover, you never know what’s going to happen,” Annett said to MRN Radio. “I think we stayed out there, besides the 11 (Justin Haley) and the 00 (Cole Custer), we stayed out there the longest. We never have gone that long on tires without them blowing. We did 40 laps in practice and 45 in the segment, so the second you get past 45, it’s an unknown and you see people blow right fronts.”
“You start coming on the radio and say, hey when are we coming. I saw that 23 (John Hunter Nemechek) come down pit road so I knew that next lap we would probably come and sure enough the caution came out. It worked out perfect for us. There at the end, you want to be aggressive, you want to go for the win, you’re also realistic knowing how good the 00 was and you’re kind of a 10th place car all weekend. Don’t do anything stupid to not make it to the next round of the playoffs.”
Annett placed 10th and ninth respectively in both stages, and advances to the Round of 8.