Jeff Anton Gets Road Course Redemption With Lime Rock Top Ten Lime Rock, Conn. (August 16, 2008) - When Jeff Anton left Watkins Glen International in June with a wrecked race car and a 25th place finish, he had his work cut out for him to make...
Jeff Anton Gets Road Course Redemption With Lime Rock Top Ten
Lime Rock, Conn. (August 16, 2008) - When Jeff Anton left Watkins Glen International in June with a wrecked race car and a 25th place finish, he had his work cut out for him to make repairs for the second NASCAR Camping World East Series road race of the year. That race, run Saturday afternoon at Lime Rock Park, saw Anton rebound with a ninth place finish.
With his second top ten finish of the season, Anton picked up two spots in the season points standings to run thirteenth with four races still to run.
Practice saw Anton time in eleventh fastest in the first session, and the Russell, Massachusetts driver was optimistic about his chances for qualifying. That opportunity to get a good starting spot, though, was washed away when rain showed up and cancelled qualifying. He started the race based on points.
Thirteen laps into the race, under caution, Anton joined the majority of the field in making a necessary pit stop for gas. After that, he was done with pitting. Restarting in mid-field, he tried making forward progress but the handling on his Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet wasn't as good as it was in Friday's practice sessions.
"Yesterday I had high hopes since the car was really good," he said after the race. "The longer we ran it, the better it went. It didn't care about the tires, it just kept going faster. I don't know how we got away from that, but during the race it was a completely different car. It had zero forward bite coming off the corner. It was a big struggle. If someone was trying to get me, I couldn't be aggressive at all."
Following a 76-minute race stoppage for rain, Anton was able to take advantage of other drivers' mistakes on and off the track to improve to ninth place by the time the race was over.
"I don't know if it had anything to do with the rain, but I imagine weather must have had something to do with the handling just because of what we were doing. Our setup in the car definitely didn't like whatever changed. It wasn't a ninth-place car. It was difficult, but we still got a top ten out of it," he said.
One nice change from past races, especially the last road race at Watkins Glen, was that Anton escaped without being involved in any on-track incidents.
"This is the first week that the target hasn't been on our back bumper," he said. "It's nice to run a race without worrying about getting turned or taken out. I wish it was like this more often."
His next race is next Saturday afternoon at the half-mile oval at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park.
"I'm excited about Mansfield," he said. "We keep on getting faster with our short-track car every week, so I'm real excited about going there. The car's done for that track as well as the car for Loudon, so we're ready to go racing tomorrow."