Jeff Anton Battles Loose Car To Top Ten Finish At Dover Dover, Del. (Sept. 22, 2006) - Russell, Massachusetts' Jeff Anton had a reversal of fortunes at Dover International Speedway, compared to his previous week's NASCAR Grand National Division,...
Jeff Anton Battles Loose Car To Top Ten Finish At Dover
Dover, Del. (Sept. 22, 2006) - Russell, Massachusetts' Jeff Anton had a reversal of fortunes at Dover International Speedway, compared to his previous week's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway. At NHIS, he finished 21st with a very good car. At Dover, he finished ninth, but described the entire day at the racetrack as a struggle as his No. 30 Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet was loose through Friday's qualifying and 150-lap main event.
Anton gave the Dover fans a preview of what was to come on his qualifying run, when he came off turn four on his first timed lap with the tail hanging out. This resulted in a 31st-fastest time trial result and Anton's having to start the race from a provisional starting spot.
"The car was really, really free during qualifying," he said. "I had the car completely sideways coming off of four. On the second time around I though it might do the same thing and sure enough, it did. It was free from the corner entry all the way through to the exit. We're starting in the back of the field when we've really picked up our qualifying at every other track this year."
Starting from the back at Dover means having to be careful as wrecks happen fast and a driver has to be on his toes. Anton did a good job of missing wrecks in front of him, moving up to thirteenth and still on the lead lap thirty laps into the race. He pitted for a chassis adjustment before the lap 41 restart, but the car was still loose and he fell off the lead lap a third of the way through the 150-lap race. He pitted for fresh tires with the majority of the field on lap 70 and was set to run to the finish.
Anton still ran in the top fifteen and was in good shape to return to the lead lap under caution, which he did on a lap 104 yellow. Back on the lead lap, Anton had moved up to eleventh. At the checkers, he was ninth and glad he had brought the car home unhurt.
"We had high hopes after running well at Loudon, where we had a good race car even though we didn't have a good finish," he said after the race. "Here, the finish was better than at Loudon, but the car was horrible. It was just scary loose all around the track. I couldn't get it wide open until I was on the straightaway. I had it pretty sideways in qualifying, and that's how it drove every single lap.
The Anton Racing crew had attempted to fix the car on pit stops, but they had little effect.
"We tried putting some wedge in the car, and that didn't do anything. We lowered the track bar and that didn't help either. I don't know if we were off on the whole spring package or tires or what. It wasn't a good car but we brought it back in one piece."
After two straight races at superspeedways, Anton and the rest of the Busch East Series will wrap up the regular season on more familiar ground, that being the 1.53-mile road course at Lime Rock Park in northwest Connecticut.
"I'm looking forward to Lime Rock. It's my home track, and we were going to get a top ten finish there last year but our alternator broke during the and, with two laps to go, the battery went dead," he said.
"We beat everyone we were around in the points today and we're going to our home track, so we're ending the season on a strong note."