NASCAR Xfinity Series driver
Birth Date: June 23, 1986
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Current Residence: Mooresville, N.C.
Michael Annett built on a breakout 2019 season in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in 2020, and with the nucleus of his No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet team for JR Motorsports returning for 2021, he is poised to make bigger strides this year.
In 2021, the 34-year-old Annett will enter his fifth season with JR Motorsports with a new crew chief. Veteran Mike Bumgarner will call the shots atop the No. 1 pit box in 2021, taking over for Travis Mack. Bumgarner, a 20-plus-year veteran of Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports, had been Race Operations Director for JRM for the past several seasons, overseeing the building and preparation of the four-car team’s equipment.
Entering his fifth season with JR Motorsports, Annett set a career high in top-10 finishes last season with 22, locking himself into the NXS Playoffs for the third time in four years. After the first 11 races of the pandemic-altered season, Annett had just three top-10 finishes, but starting at Pocono in the 12th race of the season, Annett reeled off 19 top-10 finishes in the remaining 21 starts, including four in the top five. That broke his personal best of 19 top-10s set in 2019, which included his first career NXS victory in the season opener at Daytona.
Annett saved his best for last in 2020, finishing a solid fourth in the NXS Championship race at Phoenix.
In the opening race of 2019 at Daytona, Annett led the final 45 laps and held off teammate Justin Allgaier at the finish to earn his first NXS victory. The triumph also made Annett the first driver to lock into the NXS Playoffs. Over the course of the season, Annett tied a career best with six top-five finishes and set a new one for top-10 finishes with 19. Both previous records were set in 2012. After reaching the Round of 8 in the playoffs, Annett eventually finished ninth in series points.
A 14-year veteran of NASCAR, Annett has competed in the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in that span. He came to JR Motorsports in 2017 after a three-year stint (2014-16) driving the No. 46 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet at the NASCAR Cup Series level for HScott Motorsports.
The Des Moines, Iowa native began his racing career in 2007, competing in the ARCA Racing Series where he found instant success. Annett won the pole for his first ARCA race at Iowa Speedway, his home track. In just 10 ARCA races from 2007 to 2009, Annett amassed two wins (Talladega, Daytona), five top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
In 2008, Bill Davis Racing and Germain Racing gave Annett the opportunity to gain seat time in the Truck and Xfinity Series. From 2009 through 2013, Annett raced full-time in NXS competition with multiple teams including Germain Racing (2009-10), Rusty Wallace Inc. (2011), and Richard Petty Motorsports (2012-13). Before making the jump to the Cup Series, Annett collected seven top-five and 34 top-10 finishes in NXS competition. His most successful year in NXS to that point came in 2012, where he earned six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes en route to a fifth-place effort in the championship standings
Annett’s first love was ice hockey, and he advanced quickly through the developmental ranks. By the time he was 16 years old, Annett was playing for Team Illinois, a Triple-A hockey team. In 2004, the Hawkeye native joined the Waterloo (Iowa) Black Hawks, a United States Hockey League (USHL) team. He was awarded the USHL Most Improved Player award in 2004. Due in part to his father Harrold Annett’s background as team owner for sprint car legend Sammy Swindell, Annett found the siren song of motorsports too strong to ignore. In 2005, Annett made a full-time transition into the racing world and traded his skates for a fire suit.
Annett resides in Mooresville, N.C. and when not wheeling cars around a race track, enjoys hockey, golf, AMA SuperCross, and boating.