The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Watkins Glen International on Saturday, Aug. 7, after a two-week break. JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett will also make a return of his own after missing the last two races due to injury. He has received clearance to get back into the No. 1 JRM Chevrolet Camaro.
Annett previously set out to pull double duty at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 9-10, racing in both the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series. He became a late scratch due to a leg injury, forcing the team to rely on Cup Series driver Austin Dillon.
News later surfaced that Annett had a stress fracture in his right femur, forcing him to undergo surgery. However, the two-week NASCAR break gave him time to recover and make his return to fight for a spot in the playoffs.
I can’t thank Dr. Beaver and Dr. Heisel and everyone at OrthoCarolina enough for all of their hard work to get me back in the car in just over three weeks,” Annett said, per JRM. “The work that Dr. Beaver did during the surgery that allowed me to recover in such a short amount of time is amazing.”
The Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 Xfinity Series race will take place on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Watkins Glen International. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage as Annett makes his return to the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro.
A JRM Teammate Previously Replaced Annett
When news surfaced that Annett would miss the July 17 trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, JRM scrambled to find a replacement. The team found the perfect option in Josh Berry. Annett’s teammate had filled his part of the Xfinity Series schedule with JRM and had an open date on his schedule.
The former driver of the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet Camaro switched numbers for the New Hampshire race and climbed into the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Spicy Chicken Sandwich Chevrolet. He started 21st in the 40-car field and raced his way to an eighth-place finish, his seventh top-10 for JRM.
Berry kept the No. 1 in contention for a playoff spot while Annett recovered from his surgery. Now he will step aside and let his teammate get back to work as he fights for a win at Watkins Glen International. Though Berry will travel to the road course as a backup driver in case JRM needs him.
Annett Has Past Success at Road Courses
With a medical waiver from NASCAR, Annett remains in the mix for one of the final playoff spots. Now he can simply focus on stacking points and reaching Victory Lane. He will set out to do so at a track where he has eight starts in the Xfinity Series and a top-10 finish in 2019.
Annett has yet to reach Victory Lane at Watkins Glen, but he has success at road courses in the 2021 season. Annett posted one top-five finish and two top-10s in the past four road course races. This list includes the trip to Road America when he finished third overall.
“It will be good to get back in the car at Watkins Glen this weekend,” Annett said in a statement from JR Motorsports. “This is crunch time for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and we need to get off on the right foot during this stretch. This Pilot Flying J Spicy Chicken Sandwich Chevrolet has been good on road courses this year, and we were third last time out at Road America. Bummy (crew chief Mike Bumgarner) and our No. 1 team are up for this challenge, and it starts this weekend.”
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