Michael Annett held a steady pace throughout Saturday’s Drydene 200 at Dover International Speedway and leveraged a pair of key pit stops that brought the No. 1 Pilot Flying J My Rewards Plus Chevrolet to life to earn a seventh-place finish. The effort stands as Annett’s second consecutive top-seven finish and gives the No. 1 team its fifth top 10 of the 2021 season. It also netted a jump to 11th in the championship points battle. Stage One Finish: 12th Annett fired off from 11th at the Monster Mile, a facility he calls one of his “favorite tracks.” Despite cracking the top 10 in the opening laps, the early going of Stage One was a challenge, however, with Annett reporting an extremely loose condition that forced him to take a shallow corner entry. Annett added that he felt he “was just hanging on” to the No. 1 Chevrolet. He finished out the opening stage in 12th. Stage Two Finish: 7th After calling Annett to pit road for four tires, fuel and a “big swing” on chassis adjustments, crew chief Mike Bumgarner sent the No. 1 onto the track for the Stage Two restart in 17th. A quick caution slowed the field, but gave Annett enough time to feel out the changes, which were much to his liking. “It’s 100 times better on entry,” he reported to the team. Annett utilized the bulk of Stage Two to drive his way back inside the top 10, finding the seventh position for the stage’s conclusion. Final Stage: Back on pit road under the stage-ending caution, Bumgarner called for more adjustments to help the loose condition on the No. 1. Annett lined up in seventh for the restart and, once back to green-flag conditions, settled in. Clicking off consistent lap times, Annett and the Pilot Flying J My Rewards Plus team maintained a strong pace over the final 50 laps to finish seventh. Austin Cindric won the race. He was followed by Annett’s JRM teammates Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier. AJ Allmendinger and Ty Gibbs rounded out the day’s top-five finishers.
“I love coming to Dover and our Pilot Flying J My Rewards Plus team did a fantastic job today. The guys were fast on pit road and Bummy (crew chief, Mike Bumgarner) made some great changes that really helped us improve. I felt like we were pretty sporty there toward the end. I think, overall, all of our JRM cars were really competitive today and that’s going to be important heading into the summer stretch.” - Michael Annett