Michael Annett Chicago 2 News and Notes

The Headlines:

Chicagoland Speedway Stats: In Michael Annett’s most recent race at Chicagoland Speedway in June 2011, the ninth place points contender claimed a ninth place finish after starting 11th. The Heartland native has earned six of Rusty Wallace Racing’s 12 top-10 finishes in their 2011 Nationwide Series campaign, and is the only RWR driver to earn a top-10 in the organization’s 12 starts on Chicagoland Speedway’s 1.5 mile oval.

Viers Chicagoland Victor: No. 62 crew chief, Rick Viers, is no stranger to Victory Lane at the Joliet, Illinois track. In July 2002, the veteran crew chief led Johnny Sauter to the driver’s first-ever Nationwide Series win at Chicagoland Speedway. This win came during Viers four year tenure with Richard Childress Racing where he earned seven Nationwide Series victories.

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American Muscle

Heartland Hockey History: As a former ice hockey defenseman for Team Illinois, Annett previously called Chicago home during his junior year of high school. Leading the league in penalty minutes, Annett led Team Illinois to the 2002 Calgary Mac’s AAA Hockey Tournament championship before joining the United States Hockey League (USHL) sanctioned Waterloo Blackhawks back in his home state of Iowa where he was part of the Clark Cup championship winning team.

RWR Crewman Visits Home State: Rusty Wallace Racing’s Brian Gainey, hails from Moline, Illinois. A jackman and underneath mechanic on the No. 62 Pilot Flying J Toyota Camry, the 29-year-old spent the first 24 years of his life in the Prairie State before moving to North Carolina in 2006 to pursue a career in NASCAR. Following in his father’s footsteps, Gainey comes from an open-wheel background where he raced USAC and Silver Crown cars at tracks throughout the Midwest. Now residing in Troutman, North Carolina, he enjoys coaching baseball when he’s not following the Nationwide Series circuit with the No. 62 team.

Cast Your Vote: Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver voting is still underway on NASCAR.com. Fans can cast their vote for Pilot Flying J’s Michael Annett once per day by visiting www.NASCAR.com/nnsmpd. Voting runs from now until November 17. The winner of the Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award will be announced at the year-end banquet on November 21.

For the latest updates on Michael Annett, visit www.michaelannett.com.

From the Cockpit:

Michael Annett on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:

“The first race at Chicago this year was a turnaround for our team, so we’re really excited about getting back there this weekend. Chicago was our first top-10 of the season and led us to five more. Rick (Viers) stepped in as crew chief just one race before Chicago’s first race, and we’ve really worked well together since he came on board. He’s a great leader for our team. We’re looking forward to another strong run this weekend for our longtime partner, Pilot Flying J.”

Talking Shop:

Crew Chief Rick Viers on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:

“I’m looking forward to returning to Chicago for a second time this year. It’s a great race track, and Michael’s first top-10 of the season came there back in June in only our second race together. We feel we will be even better there this time around. Our pit crew has been doing an awesome job on pit road, so we’re working hard for our first top-five.”

The Machines:

Team 62 Primary: RWR- 063 – Rusty Wallace Racing’s No. 62 team raced with this car at Iowa Speedway in August and most recently at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Team 62 Back-Up: RWR-051 – The No. 62 Pilot Flying J team’s last race competing with this chassis was at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.

Pilot Flying J Locations on Your Way:

Pilot Flying J provides 29 Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J locations along the highways throughout Illinois. Five of these locations are conveniently positioned within a 50 mile radius of Chicagoland Speedway. For more information on Pilot Flying J and to map their nearest locations along your route, please visit www.pilotflyingj.com.

Pilot Travel Center

I-55 Exit 248

23841 West Eames St.

Channahon, IL 60410

Pilot Travel Center

I-80 Exit 122

301 Ridge Rd.

Minooka, IL 60447

Pilot Travel Center

I-57 Exit 335

6002 Monee-Manhattan Rd.

Monee, IL 60449

Pilot Travel Center

I-80/I-94 Exit 2

8150 Indianapolis Blvd.

Highland, IN 46322

Pilot Travel Center

I-80/I-94 Exit 6

2501 Burr St.

Gary, IN 46406

About Pilot Flying J:

Pilot Flying J is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has more than 550 locations in North America. The company employs more than 20,000 people and is the largest retail operator of travel centers in North America. Follow Pilot Flying J on Twitter at @pilottravel.

Broadcast Info:

Final Practice

Friday, September 16, 4:30 p.m. ET

SPEED

Qualifying

Saturday, September 17, 12 p.m. ET

SPEED

Dollar General 300

Saturday, September 17, 3:30 p.m. ET

ESPN2

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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