Unable to Avoid the "Big One" in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Opener, Annett Eager for His NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut at Daytona
Contact: Maggie Martin, Rising Star Management Group, firstname.lastname@example.org
The ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway was filled with bumps, bangs and bruises as multiple drivers were involved in wrecks resulting in six yellow flags with 47 of the 80 laps being run under caution. Defending winner, Michael Annett, driver of the No. 01 Hattori Racing Enterprises Yokoso! Japan Toyota Camry, started the race on the outside row in the fourth position, was an early victim in the 200-mile feature.
Annett ran in the top-ten through the first 15 laps, but his car was fighting a tight condition and would not roll the corner very well. The first of the six cautions came out on lap 14, and the No. 01 HRE pit crew was able to use pit strategy to make some changes to the car allowing Annett to pass some cars and gain track position. The majority of the leaders stayed out and elected not to pit. Annett returned from the stop in the 16th position when the green flag was thrown on lap 22.
"We were really tight at the beginning of the race, but we made the needed adjustments during our first pit stop and started to get a handle on the car," remarked Annett.
Following the adjustments Annett moved his car into the 11th position by lap 27 when the No. 19 car of Alli Owens spun through turn four. Unable to avoid the "big-one", Annett was collected in the wreckage resulting in heavy front-end damage, putting an early end to his day and eliminating his chances of defending his ARCA RE/MAX win at Daytona in 2008.
Annett commented, "I'm really disappointed that we were taken out of the race early because I know that we had a car that could have competed for the win at the end. I hate it for the HRE team because they did such a great job preparing the car for this race. It was unfortunate that we couldn't be back in Victory Lane representing the Yokoso! Japan campaign in Daytona, but there was nothing we could do to avoid it. I really look forward to working with these guys again in the future."
With four additional cautions, including one accident causing a 19 minute red flag delay to clean debris from the track, the 43 car starting field dwindled to 23 cars, of which only 11 finished on the lead lap. The race concluded under a green, white, checker flag and a win for the No. 32 car of Win-Tron PG, the team Annett partnered with for his ARCA debut in 2007 at Iowa Speedway.
Both Annett and Germain Racing are ready and eager to get back on track for the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, February 14th. Annett will contend for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award, in his first full season with Germain Racing driving the No. 15 Pilot Travel Centers/Hype Energy Drink Toyota Camry. On track activity for the NNS Camping World 300 begins Wednesday, February 11th with practice starting at 3:00 p.m.