Michael Annett cleared for return

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Annett has been medically cleared to return for Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway after being sidelined for eight races.

The Richard Petty Motorsports driver suffered a broken and dislocated sternum that required surgery during a crash in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

He was cleared after taking an MRI on Monday.

"Obviously, I can't wait to get back into the No. 43," Annett said in a statement released by the team. "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."

Reed Sorenson has been filling in as the driver of the No. 43 entry the past seven races, posting a season-best 10th at Richmond.