By AMANDA VINCENT
Michael Annett will join JR Motorsports for full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in 2017, according to an announcement from JRM on Friday. He’ll bring along longtime sponsor Pilot Flying J to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet entry next year.
“What a great opportunity it is to bring Michael and Pilot Flying J on board with JR Motorsports,” JRM General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said. “To expand our presence in the NASCAR Xfinity Series truly shows the commitment JRM and our sponsors have made to the series. By partnering with Pilot Flying J, all the pieces are in place to run four competitive, full-time cars for a championship next year. We’re confident this will make our organization even stronger.”
Adding Annett to the JR Motorsports driver line-up as a full-time competitor in the Xfinity Series next year, bring JRM’s full-time NXS effort to four driver championship-eligible entries, as Annett will join William Byron, who’ll be a rookie in the Xfinity Series next year, and JRM NXS returning drivers Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier. Also, JR Motorsports will continue to field it’s “all-star” car, the No. 88 that will be piloted by multiple drivers throughout the season.
“I’m excited for this opportunity with JR Motorsports,” Annett said. “Dale Jr. and Kelley have done a great job building this organization. They have put the right people in place and have a championship to their name. I look forward to joining them and competing for wins and a championship next season in the Xfinity Series.”
To drive the No. 5 for JRM next year, Annett will leave the Sprint Cup Series after three years there, most recently as driver of the No. 46 Chevrolet for HScott Motorsports. He’ll finish out the 2016 season in the No. 46 Sprint Cup car. Last year, he was a teammate to Allgaier, with whom he’ll reunite next season at JRM.
Annett was a regular in the Xfinity Series from 2009 through 2012. He also ran 25 NXS races in 2013. In all, he has 163-career starts in the series, resulting in seven top-fives and 34 top-10 finishes.
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