NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
FEBRUARY 16, 2016
MICHAEL ANNETT, NO. 46 PILOT/FLYING J CHEVEROLET SS, met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. Full Transcript:
WERE YOU GUYS EVERY WORRIED THAT YOU WOULDN’T GET A CHARTER THIS YEAR?
“Definitely. My whole offseason was wondering if, first off, if the Charter System was going to come in place. There were times talking to Harry (Scott) that it was, you know, ‘I don’t think this is going to happen’, then next week it was ‘hey, this is going to happen.’ Having a full time sponsor, it was tough to go to them and saying that, ‘hey, we might not make the biggest race of the year.’ Especially the Daytona 500 and the circumstances it takes to get into the race. There are so many things that are out of your control. It’s hard to go to a sponsor that has committed to you for the full season and say ‘we might not make it.’ We are very fortunate that Harry was able work out the deal that he did. Last year, this week was the most stressful week of my life. This year, you can kind of breathe and focus more on the race rather than on Thursday. I think that is something totally different than what we were doing last year. Last year we were totally focused on the Duels, because we had to be top 15 in that race to make the 500. So this year we can really think about Sunday more than Thursday, unlike last year.”
WERE YOU GUYS PREPARED TO RUN THE FULL SEASON IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A CHARTER?
“Yeah, that was always the plan. And obviously, looking past the 500, was the about only race we were worried about. We feel like we could have got one of the four open spots every other race. Besides, we were really worried about the 500. To have the Charter, it totally changed, not only this week and this weekend, but pretty much the whole season. We go to the race track and can really focus more on the race. Last year we were outside the top 36 in points, so we were really focused on qualifying. Now we can really think about Sundays a little bit more. That will be better for the team.”
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SEASON AT HSCOTT FOR 2016?
“I mean, realistically, we are looking at the top 25 week-in and week-out. Looking at where we ran last year, I know we can do that. When we put a weekend together and the car was where I wanted it to be, we were in that 20-25 spot. I think this year, going into it, we are a lot more prepared. I think last year we put a team together in a month and didn’t have a crew chief until about three weeks before the 500. This year, just moving up to Mooresville, with the shop, and walking around seeing all the cars ready to go. I just feel that we are way more prepared. Just last year, you said under the radar; we underperformed, last year, to my standards. I know we had a lot of adversity, but we were under the radar because weren’t running where we were supposed to be. I think this year is going to be totally different and I am just really excited for it.”
TALK ABOUT NEW TEAMMATE CLINT BOWYER:
“We haven’t had a whole lot of relationship yet, to be honest with you. The way that the offseason has been and haven’t seen Clint a whole lot. We had a team lunch the other day and I got to talk to him a little bit. I hope to lean on him, as you said Justin (Allgaier) and I were coming through the ranks together. If one guy learns something one weekend, the other guy might learn something the next weekend; you can talk about it. But there is not always a solution or answer if you have a problem. Clint has seen it all, done it all, and won races; so hopefully.
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