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Chase Elliott to drive Xfinity race for Michael Annett

Chase Elliott jokes that he thought he was getting fired when he woke up to numerous missed calls to have him sub in for Michael Annett in the Xfinity race and shares what he learned for Sunday's Cup contest.

INDIANAPOLIS - Reigning Cup champion Chase Elliott will sub for Michael Annett in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, JR Motorsports announced.

The move comes as Annett continues to recover from leg surgery in July for a stress fracture in his right femur. Annett missed races at Atlanta and New Hampshire because of the injury. Annett has a waiver from NASCAR to be eligible for the playoffs if he finishes in the top 12 in points.

Annett’s absence gives hope to those outside a playoff spot. He came into this weekend holding the 12th and final playoff spot. He leads Riley Herbst by 30 points and Brandon Brown by 45 points. Annett has continued walking with a cane since his surgery and was doing so Friday at Indianapolis before practice.

This will mark Elliott’s first Xfinity Series race the season-opening race at Daytona in 2019. Elliott won the Xfinity Series title in 2014.

“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.”

Also, BJ McLeod Motorsports announced that James Davison would sub for Kyle Tilley in the No. 5 in as Tilley rests a shoulder injury.

Xfinity qualifying is at 10:05 a.m. ET Saturday. The series races at 4 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN.