Found May 10, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
PLAYERS: Richard Petty

This entry of news and notes for the SportClips Help a Hero 200 from Darlington focuses in on Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett and his #43 Pilot Travel Centers/Flying J Ford. Annett is coming off a 23rd place finish at Talladega. 

  • Annett has three career starts in the Nationwide Series at Darlington Raceway
  • Annett enters this weekend’s event in sixth-place in the Nationwide point standings
  • Annett’s best finish (11th) came in 2010 at the 1.366-mile speedway

Annett on Darlington: “I always look forward to going to Darlington, it ’s one of the most historic tracks that we go to all season. ‘The Lady in Black’ is definitely challenging because you have to run next to the wall every lap and as a driver, it leaves a small margin for error. I really like running at night under the lights, so a Friday evening race always add more excitement. My team has worked really hard to give me good cars all year at difficult tracks, so I know my Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang will be good this weekend in Darlington.”

Crew chief Philippe Lopez’s on Darlington: “When you go to Darlington you have to race the race track, mainly because of the design. Michael will have to run next to the wall every lap if we are going to be fast, and with that he will just have to be very careful. The biggest thing we need to be careful of is not hitting the wall, if we brush the wall once or twice it’s probably not going to damage the car, but if we get up into it six or seven times, the car will start slowing down, and it will be difficult to pass the rest of the field. It’s like racing on an ice rink right next to the wall, and we’ll just have to take care of the Pilot Flying J Ford so we can still be racy at the end of the night.

“Qualifying is going to be important because the track still has some good grip on it, which makes it difficult to pass throughout the race. Every pass you have to make is treacherous, so the least amount of passing you have to do, the better. The driver who sits on the pole is going to have it the easiest because all they will have to deal with is passing lapped cars. The driver who starts in the back with a fast car may end up using it all up before they make it into the top-10. We’ve really got to concentrate on having a good qualifying run this weekend, and if we do it will help us out tremendously throughout the race.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM NASCAR Nationwide Series team has prepared chassis No. 613 for the 147-lap race at Darlington. This Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang was run previously this season at Las Vegas.

Notes: Annett has three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Darlington Raceway. His best finish (11th) came in 2010 and his best start (18th) at the 1.366-mile track came in 2011. Annett heads to Darlington in the sixth position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. The Iowa native has completed 385 of 447 laps attempted at the track, and his average finish is 23.7.  

Looking for a Pilot or Flying J store near Darlington? There are 13 Pilot or Flying J stores within 100 miles of Darlington Raceway. The nearest store is nine miles away from the race track. (Pilot Travel Center (I-95 & US 52 Exit 164) 2015 West Lucas Street., Florence, S.C., 29501.) There are 42 stores within 250 miles of the track. Go to the nearest locations.

Can’t get enough of Annett? Tune into Sirius XM Radio on Channel 90, Friday, at 11:20 a.m. ET for the Tradin’ Paint with Jim Noble and Buddy Baker, to listen to Michael talk about the upcoming race weekend at Darlington Raceway.


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