ES: Greenville-Pickens: Jeff Anton race notes

Loose Car Leaves Jeff Anton Seventeenth at Greenville-Pickens Greenville, S.C. (April 19, 2008) - Jeff Anton, of Russell, Massachusetts, left Greenville-Pickens Speedway in April 2007 with an 18th place finish. For 2008, he was looking for ...

Loose Car Leaves Jeff Anton Seventeenth at Greenville-Pickens

Greenville, S.C. (April 19, 2008) - Jeff Anton, of Russell, Massachusetts, left Greenville-Pickens Speedway in April 2007 with an 18th place finish. For 2008, he was looking for improvement behind the wheel of his No. 30 Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet. The car's handling was loose, though, and while he did improve on last year's result, he was left wanting better than the seventeenth he got in the NASCAR Camping World East Series season opener.

Anton entered the first race of the 2008 season with the same short-track car he ran in 2007, although it featured a new rear clip and other chassis tweaks. Anton posted the seventeenth-fastest lap in practice out of 39 entries, so the off-season improvements seemed to be paying off. That trend continued in qualifying as he timed in fourteenth - last year, he had to take a provisional to make the race.

"We're better here than we were last year, so that's a good start on a new season," he said. "Qualifying has never been my forte but we improved a lot, and we picked up a lot from where we were in practice. I didn't think the car was going to go that fast to be honest, but I'm glad that it did.

"Hopefully we won't burn the rear tires off the car coming off the corners in the race. We have to be patient and wait until the end, and by then we'll have a better car than anyone else and we'll have a good night," Anton continued.

Once the race started in front of a full house and SpeedTV's cameras - the race will be shown on Wednesday, May 7th at 1:30 p.m. - Anton found his car to be loose. The historic half-mile track did not have a lot of grip and Anton was struggling finding a place where his car would handle. He found it to like the high line, though it still wasn't working well. A pit stop on lap 84 brought some much-needed adjustments to the chassis, and a second on lap 122 helped the cause a bit more.

"We added so much wedge to this thing that, really, it should be pushing really badly," he said. "It didn't help the car that much, though, it was still just so loose. We put in all the wedge that we could, we went down on the track bar, and nothing helped it. We just had one of those days."

When the race was over, Anton had worked hard for a seventeenth-place finish.

"I thought we had a decent race car from the start," he said. "It liked the second groove better, which is a surprise since everyone likes to run low here. But as the laps wore on, it got so loose that I could barely drive the thing. The second I stepped on the brakes, it wanted to spin out. I had to take it easy and I couldn't really race anyone. I knew if I touched another car I'd probably go around.

"We'll have to go back to the shop, see what it's got, and maybe go testing with it to find out what it likes and what it doesn't like," Anton continued. "We don't have to fix any crash damage, so we can spend our time getting the chassis better. In that respect, we're starting this year better than the last one. We're going to Iowa next, and that's one of my favorite tracks, so we'll go there and look forward to having another good run."

Anton returns to the track for the second running of Iowa Speedway's combination race between the Camping World East and West Series. It takes place on May 18 and will be broadcast live on HDNet.

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Anton