HScott Motorsports expands to two cars, adds Michael Annett
HScott Motorsports announced Tuesday that the organization is expanding to a two-car team for the 2015 Sprint Cup season with driver Justin Allgaier and newcomer Michael Annett.
Allgaier returns with primary sponsor BRANDT, but Annett doesn’t even know the identity of his crew chief or what his car number will be. Annett brings sponsorship from longtime backer Pilot Flying J, a fact that obviously made him an attractive hire for the small organization based in Spartanburg, S.C.
Garage area veteran Steve Addington will serve as both Allgaier’s crew chief and the organization’s director of competition.
"You don’t get to really pick when an opportunity walks through the door," team owner Harry Scott Jr. said Tuesday on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. "We were ready for a second car. We weren’t necessarily ready at the end of December. When an opportunity comes to partner with Michael and Pilot Flying J and his sponsors and bring him on board, when that comes to you, you’ve really got to kind of take advantage of it."
Scott believes Annett — who, like Allgaier, was a Sprint Cup rookie in 2014 — will be an asset to the organization, which qualified for 35 of 36 points racing last year with Allgaier as its lone driver.
Annett competed in all 36 points races last season with Tommy Baldwin Racing, following six years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
"We’ve kind of come up through the ranks together almost," Scott said. "I started with ownership interest about the same time he started in the national series. He’s an impressive driver. There were a lot of times last year when he would pass us on a restart and it would take us 15 or 20 laps to get back on him. He’s very talented and motivated and being an athlete, I think that’s going to help him, and having a teammate like Justin — they’re both sophomores in the Cup series — I think that’ll help both of them."
Annett is excited about his new appointment, but acknowledges there is still much work to be done just to be ready in time for the season.
"This opportunity came very late, but it was one that I couldn’t pass up and definitely wanted to jump on," he said. "I know there’s going to be some growing pains. We don’t even have a car number yet, let alone a crew chief."
Allgaier believes the addition of a teammate will be beneficial moving forward.
"I think having a teammate is paramount," he said. "To have somebody that not only you can bounce ideas off of and compare to on a race weekend, but to have those resources that having a second car will allow us to do and to have that extra bit as we go to the racetracks each and every weekend. Last year we were kind of one our own island, if you will, in the setups and the things that we were trying to learn. We weren’t able to push the envelope because we were so focused on what was working and trying to make that go forward. This allows us to kind of get outside the box a little bit."