New NASCAR Xfinity Series winner Michael Annett isn’t hanging onto the accomplishment.
While he says some have been happy to keep talking about his win in last weekend’s season opener, the JR Motorsports driver has been looking forward to getting back to work. Celebration done, Annett and his No. 1 team have held their regular meetings and watched video in preparation of the second weekend of the year at Atlanta.
“You love the excitement, and you love finally having exciting news to talk about, but honestly, I couldn’t wait to get back to the racetrack,” Annett said. “It’s tough to move your focus toward next week, but you also don’t want to regret not enjoying the moment. Obviously, (last week was) the first time for me being in that situation just learning how to separate the two, but everybody is focused and ready to go this weekend.”
Annett’s first win was long overdue, coming in his 230th career start. He has been a full-time JRM driver for three seasons now, the organization that has won two consecutive Xfinity Series championships and three of the last five. Although he’s been in the background, Annett admits there has been nothing he’s done worth reporting.
At the shop, JRM holds winner’s toasts for those who have brought home a checkered flag. Annett has routinely attended the gatherings, but it was always for the success of his teammates.
“We weren’t toasting anything I accomplished,” he said. “We have quarterly lunches, and they go over the stats of all the teams, and there was nothing that I was really proud of that they could announce, so just to finally get that monkey off the back and see the look on my guy’s face.
“That was that hardest part, was looking around and knowing they’re working just as hard or probably harder than the guys on the setup plate next to us, but they didn’t have any win stickers on their boxes, didn’t have a banner with their picture on it hanging above the shop. It was just so cool to give that back to those guys and it’s something they’ve deserved for a long time.”
Late last year, JRM made a change for Annett by moving Travis Mack into the role of crew chief. Over the offseason when numbers were swapped, and new drivers like Noah Gragson were brought in, along with a mix of drivers for the No. 8, nothing major changed for Annett. And that was a good thing. Only one engineer moved but he said his team stayed intact when there could have been opportunities for them to jump ship.
“They’ve stuck with me. Seeing all the changes we made in the offseason, I’m sure some of those guys could have made a move or asked for a move, and none of them did,” Annett said. “So, it was really cool to (win) at Daytona with those guys that stuck with me.”