Anthony Demonte's Oval-Track Busch North Debut Yields Thirteenth Place Finish (Oxford, Maine - August 27, 2005) - Anthony Demonte had only two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series starts - both at road courses - under his belt ...
Anthony Demonte's Oval-Track Busch North Debut Yields Thirteenth Place Finish
(Oxford, Maine - August 27, 2005) - Anthony Demonte had only two NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series starts - both at road courses - under his belt entering Saturday night's Fisher Snowplows 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway, a 3/8-mile oval track in central Maine. But the Hauppauge, New York driver didn't look like a rookie as he turned top-ten times in practice, qualified solidly in the starting lineup, and raced in the top ten before finishing thirteenth.
Team manager/crew chief Jason Kreth was impressed with his team's performance.
"Being ninth quick in practice made me happy, and coming home with the car in one piece and on the lead lap made me real happy. I was looking at the lap times from the race and we were able to run comparable lap times with the leaders and nobody really could get away from us," Kreth said.
Using a different setup than the team had tried at ovals in the past, Demonte was quickly up to speed, posting the ninth-best practice time in the first session at Oxford. Qualifying also found the rookie driver up to speed, as he timed in fifteenth.
In the race, Demonte stayed on the lead lap throughout the entire 150-lap event. He ran as high as tenth on two separate occasions, and even as the race was winding down his lap times remained on a par with the leaders'. Tire wear was excellent, and Kreth opted to go with a no-pit strategy.
"In practice we checked on the lap times and we saw that after 50 or 60 laps we really didn't lose much time. In the race, we ran some of our fastest lap times near the end of the race, so the tires didn't fall off at all for us," Kreth said.
Demonte's thirteenth-place finish easily bested his previous best finish in series competition, which was 26th at Lime Rock Park in May 2004. Kreth stressed that it was a team effort that led to this result.
"The team really came together," he said. "The guys haven't been at a lot of races so they're not aware of all the stuff that goes on at the track. But now that we've got some laps under our belts, everybody knows their job and where to be at what time and what to do, so things are going a lot smoother. It was a great weekend all the way around. The hardest part of building a race team is getting the right people in place and getting them to work together, and we're getting closer to being there. We're moving in the right direction."
Kreth is also giving high marks to both Busch North Series officials and its veteran drivers.
"I like the series, the officiating is good, and everybody seems to have a vested interest in the success of the series. Lee really puts the time and effort in to make things as easy and smooth as possible for everybody," Kreth said.
"This series is great because a bunch of the guys were real helpful and are always willing to help the rookies out," he continued. "Mike Olsen was particularly helpful, always coming by and asking if we had any questions and giving tips on how to get around the track. Once we got out there and got into a bit of a rhythm, we were in good shape. We had a good battle with Andy Santerre for tenth place in the race, and we were glad to be able to run him clean and run laps in the same ballpark with what he was running."
Demonte Motorsports has hatched plans to compete in three of the final four 2005 Busch North Series races, starting with the New Hampshire International Speedway 125-lapper on Friday, Sept. 16th. They will also be at Lime Rock Park and Thompson International Speedway in October.