Michael Annett set to return at Charlotte from Daytona injury

Jonathan Ferrey

After missing eight races with an injury sustained at Daytona, Michael Annett has been cleared by NASCAR to return to Nationwide Series competition this weekend at Charlotte.

Michael Annett will return to Nationwide Series competition this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway after missing eight races with an injury.

The Richard Petty Motorsports driver sustained a fractured sternum Feb. 23 in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. He was medically cleared by NASCAR Tuesday after taking an MRI the day before.

In Annett's absence, Aric Almirola filled in at Phoenix finishing ninth, while Reed Sorenson occupied the seat of the No. 43 car in the following seven events posting a best result of 10th at Richmond.

Annett was coming off a breakthrough 2012 season where he finished fifth in the points and had entered the year with high expectations.

"Obviously, I can't wait to get back into the No. 43," Annett said in a statement. "It has been a long three months, and I am more than ready to jump back in the car.

"The accident at Daytona was disappointing for our team, but I'm very grateful for the amount of support I had from the team, NASCAR, family, friends and fans and not to mention the outstanding medical team that helped me through all of this. While it was really hard to be on the sidelines, I realize that it was even more important to heal properly."

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