Originally written September 14, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
Michael Annett has five NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Chicagoland Speedway. His best finish (fifth) came earlier this season and his best start (11th) at the 1.5-mile track came in 2011. Annett has completed 1,000 of 1,004 laps attempted at Chicago, leading one of them. His average start is 19.6 and his average finish at the Illinois track is 12.2. Annett will be a guest speaker at Rusty’s Roast, Celebrating the Career of Richard Petty, a charity fundraiser benefiting The NASCAR Foundation and the Iowa Speedway Foundation on Thursday. The event, which takes place at Iowa Speedway, will also feature guest speakers Dale Inman, Mike Helton and Rusty Wallace. Annett’s fifth-place finish last weekend at Richmond International Raceway marked his fifth top five and 11th top 10 this season. Michael Annett on Racing in Chicago: “Chicago is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. The track is different than some of the other intermediate tracks that we go to because it has those bumps in Turns 1 and 2. The uniqueness of the track makes it more challenging for me as a driver, and I like that because it keeps the racing interesting. We had a fifth-place finish earlier this summer at Chicagoland, and we are taking that same car back this weekend. I know I’ve got a Pilot Flying J Ford capable of winning and a good setup package underneath the hood. I think our whole team has a boost of confidence after our good run last weekend, and I know they have all worked really hard to give me a great car this weekend.” Crew Chief Philippe Lopez’s Thoughts on Chicagoland Speedway: “Chicagoland Speedway isn’t your typical 1.5-mile track. It has some bumps in Turns 1 and 2 that can make it tricky for the driver. Our biggest challenge this weekend will be tire wear, and making sure we can get over the bumps without upsetting the car. We will have to really keep an eye on the tire fall off because it will play a big part in our tire strategy for the entire race. We’ll need to make sure that we’ve got enough rubber left on our tires at the end of the race to keep our Pilot Flying J Ford up front and in contention for the win. “I like going to Chicagoland Speedway. We had a really good Pilot Flying J Ford there earlier this season and finished in the top five. We are taking that car back this weekend and we expect to build off of what we learned there earlier in the summer and come home with an even better finish on Saturday. We’ve also got some momentum going into this weekend after our top five at Richmond last weekend, so I expect that to help our team as well.” Chassis History: The No. 43 RPM NASCAR Nationwide Series team has prepared chassis No. 635 for the 300-mile race at Chicagoland Speedway. This Pilot Flying J Ford Mustang was run previously this season at California, Charlotte and Chicago.
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