After running in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the last three years, Michael Annett will rejoin the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017.
Annett and sponsor Pilot Flying J will join JR Motorsports in a fourth full-time entry. Annett will drive the No. 5 with teammates Elliott Sadler in the No. 1, Justin Allgaier in the No. 7 and rookie William Byron in another car with a number to be determined later.
Kelley Earnhardt-Miller, the sister of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and General Manager of JRM, thinks the addition of a fourth car in the series will only make the team stronger in 2017.
“What a great opportunity it is to bring Michael and Pilot Flying J on board with JR Motorsports,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “To expand our presence in the NASCAR Xfinity Series truly shows the commitment JRM and our sponsors have made to the series.”
Annett’s move back to the XFINITY Series comes after spending time with both Tommy Baldwin Racing and HScott Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series. In 103 starts, Annett had a best finish of 13th.
“I’m excited for this opportunity with JR Motorsports,” said Annett. “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.”
In 163 past XFINITY Series starts, Annett has a best finish of third that he’s accomplished twice.
With both Annett and driver Clint Bowyer departing HScott Motorsports at season’s end, it remains unclear whether the team will continue to compete in the Sprint Cup Series next season.