Michael Annett in midst of Best Career Season as NXS returns to Daytona

Michael Annett
LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 31: Michael Annett, driver of the #1 Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet, climbs into his car during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 250 at Pocono Raceway on May 31, 2019 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season has been one of large results for JR Motorsports’ Michael Annett.

Following a win in the opening race of the season – his first career victory in any of NASCAR’s three national touring series – Annett has gone on to have the best stint of his 12-year Career halfway through 2019.

Michael Annett in midst of Best Career Season as NXS returns to Daytona

The Des Moines, IA native is currently on a streak of six top-10 finishes and has finished third in two of the last three NXS races.

Last season, that’s something Annett’s team didn’t dream about. They had two top 10’s at this point a year ago and finished the season with just three total.

This year, he feels like he’s helping his JRM teammates a whole lot more.

“The biggest thing is being able to walk into the shop on Monday and throughout the week and be proud of your efforts, have your head held high,” Annett said. “I feel like [I’m] really contributing to JR Motorsports as a whole and not holding [my] hand out looking for notes or pointers.”

The script has flipped over completely for Annett and his team.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Annett said. “[Finishing] outside the top five and one or two segment points gained in a weekend [for us] is disappointing. It’s a total different mentality and a heck of a lot more fun right now.”

JRM teammate Justin Allgaier has witnessed the change first-hand.

Him and Annett were teammates at HScott Motorsports in the Cup series in 2015 before Allgaier took off for JRM in 2016 – a year ahead of Annett.

“It’s been awesome [to see the turnaround],” Allgaier said. “Michael and I obviously have kind of come through the ranks together. We’ve been around the sport a long time together. We’ve been teammates at multiple places. To see Michael have the success that he’s had this year [has been] great.”

Annett had doubters. Some in the industry. Others letting their voices be heard on social media.

But never was Allgaier one of them.

“I’ve said all along I knew he had the talent to do it,” Allgaier said. “It’s just kind of breaking through the barriers and he’s done that.”

Annett attributes the start of the new run back to that first week of the season, when he got his win that secured him a playoff spot from the get go.

Michael Annett
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 16: Michael Annett, driver of the #1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

His team was in high spirits going into it. They were working their tails off. They didn’t know they would win, but they felt confident at the very least in their abilities.

“The time at the shop, the attitude of my guys with their heads held high and smiles on their faces really started leading into Daytona [is] what I think prompted it,” Annett said.

This year, Annett has gathered more top-10 finishes (11) than he did in his first two seasons at JRM combined (10).

He’s contending in or near the top five week in and week out, and is showing that he’s deserving of the car he is in at JRM.

On top of it all, he’s having the most fun, too.

“After winning that race that day, the [momentum] continued because we know where we could have been and should be at this point,” Annett said. “It’s been the most fun season of my career, definitely, so far.”

This week, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Daytona where Annett will have a chance to defend his race win and try to extend his top-10 streak to seven.

“It is very exciting to come back to Daytona as a race winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. That weekend was one I’ll never forget, and our performances since Dover have been really consistent,” Annett said.

Annett will run a patriotic paint scheme on his No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet this weekend for the 4th of July.

Michael Annett
The paint scheme on the No. 1 car for this weekend’s race at Daytona.

Friday’s race at Daytona is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBCSN.

 

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