Jeff Anton Picks Up Four Points Positions After Finishing NHIS Fourteenth Loudon, N.H. (June 29, 2007) - While the first half of Jeff Anton's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series season may have been inconsistent, he made a great...
Jeff Anton Picks Up Four Points Positions After Finishing NHIS Fourteenth
Loudon, N.H. (June 29, 2007) - While the first half of Jeff Anton's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series season may have been inconsistent, he made a great leap forward heading into the second half when his fourteenth-place finish in Friday's New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway allowed him to vault forward four spots in the points. He now rides eighth after the sixth of thirteen regular-season races.
The Anton camp was concerned about the engine in their No. 30 Baran Institute of Technology/Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet. In practice, the car's spec engine was down on power and RPMs compared to the competition, and that condition continued through qualifying, where Anton was only 22nd fastest. That problem could not be fixed before the race because NASCAR impounded the cars on pit road after qualifying and the teams were allowed to make only a few minor adjustments before taking the green flag.
"It seems like our motor is a little flat," he said before the race. "I don't know if it's in the motor or in the carburetor or what, but we're definitely off quite a bit from what everybody else is turning for RPMs. We thought about changing motors but now it's too late to do it, so we'll run with what we have. We're not the slowest car and we can maintain position well, and we can make up a lot of ground getting into the turns. In practice I was catching the fast guys getting into the corner, but when they were getting on it and making their power, we weren't."
In the race, Anton was outside the top ten until a gas-only pit stop near the fifty-lap mark moved him up in the field, and he was tenth at the race's halfway mark. The lack of horsepower cost him on the mile-long track, though, and he fell to thirteenth. He made a strategic call to pit late for tires under a lap 81 caution and looked to run to the finish. From that point on, he had to come through the field from outside the top twenty - and recovering from being spun out on lap 103 - to finish fourteenth.
"The car was pretty bad on restarts, but I thought that once we got in our groove we could hold our own," he said after the race. "We were getting in deeper than the other guys going into the corners and that's how we maintained our position. The motor was still lagging coming up off the turns so I knew I had to drive in deeper and it paid off a lot. We had that long green flag run and we were maintaining pretty well, but trouble started happening with the wrecks and I got hit from behind and taken out, but that's how it is.
"We had a lot of people from Baran Institute and Engineered Floors here, so I'm glad we pulled off a better finish than where we started," Anton continued. "We came in late for tires thinking we'd have fresh tires for the end of the race while everyone else was out there on stuff they used up and I don't know if it paid off, we probably would have wound up finishing about the same if we stayed on the old tires. It was a good race for us. We definitely think we could have easily run in the top ten with a good motor. I like the big tracks better than the shorter ones, and this has been a good race for us in the past."
Anton's short-track car will return to action in two weeks when the Busch East Series makes its annual stop at the .625-mile Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Saturday, July 14th.
"We're looking forward to Thompson," Anton said. "We'll take the other car and hope for the best. It's a good-sized, fast track, and I like racing there."