Waterford Accident Slows But Doesn't Stop Jeff Anton Waterford, Conn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Jeff Anton came to the last short track on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series schedule looking to improve on his ninth place points ...
Waterford Accident Slows But Doesn't Stop Jeff Anton
Waterford, Conn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Jeff Anton came to the last short track on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series schedule looking to improve on his ninth place points standing. And while the driver from Russell, Massachusetts qualified well, handling problems struck the No. 30 Specialized Floors, Inc. Chevrolet to force a pit stop for adjustments. Coming back through the field with an improved race car, Anton was caught up in an accident with three other cars, damaging the radiator and requiring its replacement. He returned to the race after hard work from the Anton Racing crew to finish 21st.
Anton, coming off his third top ten of the season last month at Adirondack International Speedway, came to Waterford with the same car he's used in all but one race this season. He was eleventh fastest in practice, and improved to ninth in qualifying.
"We just can't seem to get forward bite coming off the turns here," the second-year driver said. "Our qualifying was all right, we're happy with the position and I'm glad I'm starting on the inside row, that's the key here. We'll see how it goes in the race. We want to move up in the top ten in points, we're really close to eighth, maybe thirty points behind and we hope we can move up."
Anton ran eighth through the race's opening laps, but slipped to tenth after 35 laps were in the books as the car was tightening up on him. The call to pit was made, and he pulled off the track for a Panhard bar adjustment as well as the removal of a spring rubber. Restarting back in seventeenth, Anton had to negotiate traffic to get back to the top ten. But despite quickly moving up to fifteenth, Anton couldn't avoid a slower car that had already tangled with three other cars and bounced off both that car and the frontstretch wall on lap 64. He drove to the pits where the damage was assessed and repairs begun.
"We run across drivers who can hold their own but there's a select few that can't, and that's where all the problems happen," Anton explained.
The most pressing repair was the replacement of the radiator that was damaged in the accident.
"My crew worked really hard," he said. "My radiator was broken and they worked really hard to change a radiator in the dark and only losing as few laps as we did. Everyone was working their butts off."
Anton returned to the race when the race was 108 laps old with a car that wasn't that bad.
"The car was awesome after we came back into the race. I don't know if hitting the wall and hitting all the other cars made it handle better, but it was really good at the end. I just wish that we hadn't gotten into that accident in the first place, it really hurt us in the points," he said.
Despite the 21st place finish, Anton remains ninth in the season standings with nearly a month off before the next race on the schedule. He'll return to action on Saturday, September 16th at New Hampshire International Speedway.