By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett has secured his ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for years to come. Annett and his sponsor, Pilot Flying J, have reached a multi-year deal with the team that won championships with Chase Elliott and William Byron.
Annett joined the team, founded by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in 2017. In that time frame, the 32-year-old driver has earned one top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Annett’s runner-up finish in the No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro SS at Road America is a career-best for the veteran driver.
“We’ve watched our partnership with Pilot Flying J grow over the past two seasons,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “This renewal gives us the ability to continue to build that relationship. Both Pilot Flying J and Michael were integral in our expansion to four full-time teams last season, and they’ll continue as such as we plan for the team’s future. They’ve made a strong commitment to JRM and this sport.”
Pilot Flying J first sponsored Annett in the ARCA Racing Series in 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway. It was the duos’ first win together. The driver-sponsor pairing also visited victory lane in the ARCA season-opener in 2008. That was their most recent victory on the National stage to date.
“Pilot Flying J is excited to continue our long-standing relationship with Michael,” said Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J. “We are excited to see where he will finish this year. We look forward to working with JRM and wish Michael the best of luck and success in the 2019 season.”
Annett spent three seasons (2014-2016) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Tommy Baldwin Racing and HScott Motorsports. In 106 starts, he earned a best finish of 13th in the 2015 Daytona 500. Following the 2016 season, Annett returned to the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports.
“JR Motorsports has been a great fit for me and I’m thankful to continue my relationship with them and my longtime sponsor Pilot Flying J,” said Annett. “I have tremendous support with the No. 5 team, my teammates and the entire staff over there. It’s very much a family atmosphere and they have everything it takes to be successful at this level.”
Annett made the Playoffs in his first season with JR Motorsports, finishing ninth in the Championship Standings. Currently, he is 24-points behind the cutoff, held by Ross Chastain. Annett’s JR Motorsports teammates, Elliott Sadler, Tyler Reddick, and Justin Allgaier, sit first, fourth, and sixth in the Championship Standings respectively.
Now Annett and his JR Motorsports team will look to move into Playoff contention in the Overton’s 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.