HAMPTON, Ga.—It’s nice to have friends in the garage. Just ask Michael Annett.
One of 13 drivers whose cars failed to get through NASCAR technical inspection before Friday’s qualifying session, Annett would have been heading home from Atlanta had it not been for his good friend Brian Scott and Mike Hillman Sr., team manager of the No. 33 Chevrolet owned by Joe Falk.
Scott had qualified 32nd for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 but agreed to give up his seat in favor of Annett, whose regular crew chief, Jay Guy, will call the race. NASCAR approved the driver change.
“It’s a big deal,” Annett said before Saturday’s first practice. “I can’t thank Mike Hillman and Brian Scott enough. We’d rather be in the (No.) 46 HScott Motorsport car, but we’re running full-time and we need as many driver’s points as we can get.
“Unfortunately, we won’t get any owner’s points for this, but being with a new crew chief, with Jay Guy, it’s another hour-and-half of practice and another 500 miles (on Sunday) to work together.
“So looking back, we could have either gone home and watched this race or be able to work together so when we go to Las Vegas we’re even stronger. I can’t thank these guys enough for giving us this opportunity.”
LOST AND FOUND
The No. 44 Team Xtreme Racing Chevrolet, stolen early Friday morning from a hotel parking lot in Morrow, Ga. (south of Atlanta), was recovered by authorizes in Gwinnett County (north of Atlanta) on Saturday. Team owner John Cohen already had withdrawn the car, to have been driven by Travis Kvapil, from Sunday’s race. The car was in a trailer pulled by a Ford F350 pickup truck when it was taken from the parking lot of the Drury Inn in Morrow. Police found the car on the side of a road in Loganville, Ga., but the truck and trailer were gone.