Michael Annett is calling it a career. On Wednesday, Annett announced he will retire from full-time competition after the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, his fourteenth in NASCAR’s national series.
Annett began competing in the national series in 2008 with starts in Xfinity and the Camping World Truck Series. Supported by family sponsorship from what is now Pilot Flying J, his first full season came in the Xfinity Series in 2009, where he was a regular until 2014 when he moved up to the Cup Series. After three relatively unsuccessful seasons in lesser equipment, he returned to the Xfinity level with JR Motorsports in 2017. Two years later, he won his first and to date only national series race in the 2019 season opener at Daytona.
However, Annett has also struggled with health problems throughout his career. In 2013, he missed eight races after breaking his sternum in a crash in the first round. This season has seen him miss time due to a broken femur that he eventually re-injured, and he has not run a race since Richmond in early September.
In 316 career Xfinity starts, he has one win, nineteen top fives, ninety-three top tens, and a pole. His best points finish was fifth in 2012 with Richard Petty Motorsports. He also has eight career Truck starts to his name with a runner-up finish at Kentucky in 2008, while his best run in 106 Cup tries is thirteenth in the 2015 Daytona 500.
“I’m just so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had,” stated Annett. “Being able to drive race cars for a living is honestly a dream come true for me. It’s been a privilege to work with some great teams and alongside some of the most talented folks in the garage. None of this would have been possible without the support of my partners, and I am happy to call them life-long friends. It’s those relationships and friendships that are the most rewarding.”
As the news specifies that he is done with full-time competition, it is possible that he will continue driving on a part-time basis such plans were not immediately announced. It is also unknown if Pilot Flying J will continue sponsoring cars, while JRM has not announced who will take over his #1 car in 2022. Josh Berry, who is filling in for Annett and won at Las Vegas in relief duty, could be a candidate as he has plans to run the full 2022 season, as is Sam Mayer who is in the #8.