Chase Elliott to Compete in Xfinity Series Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Published 08/15/2021, 6:21 AM EDT
May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports


JR Motorsports have roped in defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott to cover for Michael Annett as he continues his recovery. Reports emerged earlier that Michael was forced to pull out of this weekend’s race. He sustained a fracture on his right femur and underwent surgery.

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Annett was a no-show at Atlanta and New Hampshire due to his surgery. Admittedly, this would affect his playoff hopes, but there is good news. NASCAR have apparently handed him a waiver to be eligible as long as he finishes in the top 12. At the moment, Annett is right on the bubble with five races left until the Playoffs.

With the JR Motorsports driver missing from action, the onus falls on his rivals to overtake him. Ahead of this weekend’s race, Michael Annett hangs onto the final playoff spot by 30 points. The closest rival to the 35-year-old is Riley Herbst, with Brandon Brown a further 15 points adrift. Both of them will see this as an opportunity to close the gap on the playoff spot.

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What did Chase Elliott say about Annett?

We’re kind of working through it, obviously really last minute, unfortunately, on that,” Elliott said. “We hope the best for Michael. We hate to see him not drive his car. But from my end, I obviously felt like it was a chance to get some more laps and kind of hard to turn that down at a new track.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Michael Annett, driver of the #1 AHA/Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Annett has been progressing well in his recovery and is now able to walk with a cane. However, there is still the sense that it is too soon for him to step back into the car. That is where Chase Elliott comes in to make his first Xfinity Series start since 2019. The Hendrick Motorsports driver is well-known for winning the Xfinity Series title in the 2014 season and will be hoping for a seamless return to action.

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Dhruv George

12017 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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