The Frontstretch: Michael Annett Driver Diary: Knocking on the Door, Politics, and Football by Michael Annett -- Friday September 14, 2012

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We were in Richmond last week. After practice I thought we definitely had a top 5 car that was going to be competing for the win. Then the green flag dropped and our car just went completely the other way. It was really loose pretty much through the whole corner at both ends and it took us about two or three stops to really get the grip we needed. We kind of ran around in 12th to 15th for the first 150 lap, made some good changes and got the grip we needed and then the last 100 laps we really started to move forward.

Richmond is the type of track where you really can’t relax. You have to be really aggressive there, whether you run laps by yourself or your racing, you just have to be aggressive and make the car work there. We got the grip we need and we were able to be aggressive and move forward. After making it through a couple of late race restarts and brought home another top 5 for our team.

I really think our team is knocking on the door of getting that first win together. This whole streak of top 5s and really good runs started at Kentucky earlier this summer and we had a top 5 at Chicago so to have Chicago coming up this weekend and Kentucky right around the corner. I really think with the momentum we have going right now that we are putting ourselves in position and I think if we take some things we learned from the first time we went to these tracks, we’re going to be knocking on the door for a win for sure.

Michael Annett has high hopes for his No. 43 Petty Motorsports Ford at Chicagoland this weekend, following with Top 5 runs this year at Chicago and its similarly shaped cousin in Kentucky.

This past weekend at Richmond for the Cup guys I think we saw that anything can happen. I think if you looked at that race and said Jeff Gordon needs to beat Kyle Busch by 12 points or 12 positions, you’d think Kyle at Richmond, he doesn’t have a chance. I think going in when I sat down and watched that race, the way I looked at it was Jeff needs to win that race if he’s going to make it. I never thought he’d just outright beat Kyle by 12 spots. That was pretty crazy, and goes to show that anything can happen at this level. Between Denny and Kyle, I’d say at Richmond you’d look at them and say one of them was going to win the race and the way it came down to fuel, it just shows what can happen.

I will say this though-I did tell someone that a Waltrip car was going to win the race that night. Just looking at how well they’ve been running everywhere, it seemed like they were due, and Clint had a win there before. I did get that part right but if you’d asked me if Jeff was going to make it without winning the race, I’d have said you were crazy.

The weather kind of made things difficult. They got the whole race in but a lot of people thought they were trying to restart it just to get to halfway and they didn’t really like that idea with all that was at stake. I can understand what they are thinking but I have a lot of trust and faith in NASCAR that they are always looking at it for the fans and for the side of competition; they are not picking favorites.

I know that for sure because we’ve seen them penalize Dale Earnhardt, Jr. before so NASCAR definitely doesn’t have any favorites and they are always looking at it for the fans and to do the right thing. We can all pull up our cell phones and pull up http://www.weatherchannel.com and look at the weather and say there are a batch of storms coming, but I guarantee they have a weather expert within their organization that is telling them that if they can get the track dry, there’s a pretty good chance they can get the whole rest of the race in. That influences their decision.

I have a lot of trust in any decision they make and they are doing it for the right reasons and if they believe they can get the track dry and get the whole rest of the race in, that’s why they did what they did. If they didn’t think they could do that they would have postponed it and raced Sunday afternoon. It’s all about faith and trust and knowing every decision they make is for a reason and it’s not just to get everybody home that night, there is reasoning behind every decision they make.

The big news recently was the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The DNC was here in Charlotte. I really didn’t watch much of it at all; I usually stay out of politics. I’m a conservative and my Dad has a really big trucking company, so I tell people the best thing for his trucking company is to have a Republican in office so that’s the side I go with, to benefit him. To be honest with you, while the DNC was in Charlotte, I was flying out Sunday to go to the Bahamas so the only part of the Democratic convention that affected me was the airport. Like I said; I stay out of politics.

This past weekend was the opening weekend for the NFL. I used be a really big Dallas Cowboys fan and I still am. If there’s a team I side with, it’s the Cowboys, but I’m more into certain players. I really like Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers now. They let me down last weekend a little bit but the Cowboys did their job and hopefully they’ll have the season we’ve been waiting on for some years now. I think it was a really good opening weekend, there were teams you expect to win that won and teams you didn’t expect and they won so it was a good weekend and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

We’ll talk to you again soon…

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