ES: Loudon II: Jeff Anton race notes

Best NHMS Finish For Jeff Anton Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Jeff Anton scored his best finish yet in NASCAR Camping Word East Series competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he finished tenth in Saturday's Heluva Good Fall...

Best NHMS Finish For Jeff Anton

Loudon, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2008) - Jeff Anton scored his best finish yet in NASCAR Camping Word East Series competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he finished tenth in Saturday's Heluva Good Fall 125. Anton, driver of the No. 30 Engineered Floors/Fast Track Medical Response Chevrolet, had a pit strategy that enabled him to get his first top ten at the track races at twice a year.

"We're a little disappointed because I think we could have done a lot better, but I'm also happy because our luck hasn't been that good this year and for once we had a pretty smooth race," he said after the race

The Russell, Massachusetts' driver began the weekend on a decent note as he had a 23rd place qualifying effort on Thursday.

"The car is consistent," Anton said. "We're happy with it. During practice, we got messed up with some of the adjustments and we weren't running as well as we were doing when we tested here. Before qualifying we went back to how we tested and we were better, but still way too loose. I think it'll be perfect for the race, though. I wanted to go faster, but it'll be real good for the race, so we're real happy."

Anton went into the race with a pit strategy that was different from most of his competition. Staying on the track through a pair of early cautions allowed him to move up to tenth, and then fifth for a lap 34 restart. The next caution didn't fall until lap 92, and Anton took advantage of that opportunity to make stops for gas and tires.

"Our whole game plan was to come in around lap 75 regardless of what the leaders did," he said. "That way we could put on some fresh tires and have something to race with at the end. We had that long green-flag run and it turned out that we got about the best gas mileage of anyone today. I think we went 95 laps before pitting."

With fresh tires, Anton quickly discovered that his car had loosened up, but there was also aero problems back in traffic. Those wound up costing him positions, although he still managed to capture his first top ten at the one-mile track.

"I'm happy that we finished in the top ten, but I think we had a top-five car," he said. "After the restart I had something that I'd never really experienced before. The car was fine when it was in clean air, but when I got behind someone it picked up a bad aero push. The nose would go up the racetrack no matter what I did to it, whether I went in easy or went in hard. The thing would just get away from me and I went from sixth to tenth at the end. That's a shame, because those guys would have never gotten by us on a long run.

"All in all, the car got out of this in good shape and we'll be in that much better shape to go to Dover next week," Anton continued. "I'm happy with the finish since it's the best we've done here, and our luck seems to be turning around so we can finish the season strong."

Anton races again on Friday afternoon when the Camping World East Series makes its annual stop at the one-mile Dover International Speedway for 150 laps around the high-banked concrete Delaware oval.

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Anton