Michael Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet ran into bad luck very early in Monday night’s Cheddar’s 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines at Bristol Motor Speedway. Coming onto the front straightaway, Annett was forced to evade the spinning car of Ross Chastain and clouted the front straightaway wall in the process. The impact broke components in the drivetrain of his Chevrolet Camaro and ended his night after just five laps.
Stage One Finish: 37th Taking the green flag from 12th position, Annett sorted out his Chevrolet over the first few laps and was running in the midst of the top 15 when Chastain’s machine cut down a right front tire off Turn 4. As Chastain spun, the field scattered in an attempt to avoid Chastain’s car, which was in the middle of the track. Seeing a hole to the outside, Annett aimed for it, only to have Chastain’s car roll back a bit. Annett shot the gap but couldn’t miss the outside retaining wall.
As he rebounded back onto the track and toward the apron, the car would not go into gear. That ended his race after just five laps, and relegated him to a 37th-place finish. The early exit halted a run of three straight top-10 finishes at the .533-mile oval for the Iowa native. It was also costly in the points, as Annett fell three spots to 13th, 130 points off the leader after seven races.
“The 10 (Ross Chastain) spun and I gassed it up and tried to shoot the gap. It didn’t work. That was a pretty hard impact, and it broke the drivetrain. I thought it tore the transmission out of it, but it was the drivetrain. I hate it for the No. 1 team. They put together a good Pilot Flying J Chevrolet and I was looking forward to seeing what it would do on the Bristol banks. We’ll gather it up and go to Atlanta.” - Michael Annett