That’s what friends are for

Michael Annett. (Getty Images)
Michael Annett. (Getty Images)
Michael Annett. (Getty Images)

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 Team owner John Cohen already had withdrawn the car, to have been driven by Travis Kvapil, from Sunday’s race.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.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.