Jeff Anton Returns To Top Ten In Points After Finishing NHIS Sixteenth Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - After dropping out of the top ten in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series points standings a couple weeks ago, Russell, ...
Jeff Anton Returns To Top Ten In Points After Finishing NHIS Sixteenth
Loudon, N.H. (July 14, 2006) - After dropping out of the top ten in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series points standings a couple weeks ago, Russell, Massachusetts' Jeff Anton has returned to that elite ground following a sixteenth-place performance at New Hampshire International Speedway Friday afternoon. Anton now runs tenth in series points following the sixth of eleven races.
Using the same car he had at the 3/8ths-mile short track at Lake Erie Speedway the week before, Anton took on the mile-long NHIS starting with practice on Thursday. The ninety-minute session was a battle to find what the car liked on the "Magic Mile" with many different adjustments tried before qualifying. In time trials, he took the 21st starting spot.
"We're not the fastest car so we're still making changes to try and get more speed out of this car," he said before the race. "Every time we've gone out, we've gotten better. We just don't seem to have the right spring package for this place, and we'll try another combination for the race. We only got out once in the morning practice and the session was so short we didn't have enough time to get done everything we needed to do. During the race we always seem to race better than what we run in practice, hopefully that'll be the case today."
The second-year driver embarked on the 125-lap race following the same strategy as the rest of the field, pitting under caution on lap 19 to add gas that would get him to the race's finish. A second stop was made on lap 37 to replace the right-side tires as the car's handling needed tweaking. The final stop by the Anton Racing crew on lap 67 provided the fix that affected the car the most.
"In the beginning of the race we were semi-decent but then the car just got way too tight," he said. "It was tight-loose so we made a wedge adjustment hoping that it would fix it, but it didn't. We went back the other way with the wedge and that didn't do anything. We put new tires on it and that didn't fix anything either. Finally we put some spring rubbers in the left springs and instead of being tight-loose it was just tight, so it was predictable."
After each stop Anton had to restart near the tail of the field so he had to pass a lot of cars on his way to finishing sixteenth.
"It was a constant battle out there," he said. "We definitely learned something here today, we have to start a little more free. We avoided all the accidents though, and it seemed like they were all right in front of me. There were a few close calls, but we missed them all."
The Busch East Series takes a weekend off before returning to action on July 29th at Adirondack International Speedway's half-mile in Beaver Falls, N.Y. Anton got his first top ten in series competition at this track last year.
"We're looking forward to going to Adirondack, which is where I had my best finish last year. It's a finesse track, which I like to run. You have to be very easy on the throttle," he said.