Jeff Anton Picks Up Big Points In Midwest Doubleheader Newton, Iowa (May 20, 2007) - The NASCAR Grand National Division ran an unprecedented two-race weekend as it combined its Busch East Series with its West Series counterpart for a pair of...
Jeff Anton Picks Up Big Points In Midwest Doubleheader
Newton, Iowa (May 20, 2007) - The NASCAR Grand National Division ran an unprecedented two-race weekend as it combined its Busch East Series with its West Series counterpart for a pair of races in the midwest. Russell, Massachusetts driver Jeff Anton capitalized on the two-track weekend to pick up championship points on his East Series competition with finishes of fourteenth at the short track in Elko, Minnesota and eighth at Iowa Speedway's 7/8ths mile oval.
The two finishes gave Anton, driver of the No. 30 Baran Institute of Technology/Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet, the fifth-best point total of East Series competitors, moving him from eighteenth to tenth in series points after three of fourteen regular-season races.
The weekend started with 150 laps at Elko Speedway, located just south of Minneapolis. Anton, driving the short-track car, was 29th out of 46 cars when time trials were over, which wasn't good enough to get him into the starting line-up based on speed. He received a provisional starting position and started the race from the 29th starting spot. Things did not get off to a good start as he was turned around exiting turn four on lap 34, he stayed on the lead lap only to get involved in another incident on lap 98. Continuing without pitting, Anton had to survive another tangle late in the race but persevered to finish fourteenth, which was eleventh best of the East Series teams.
"We still have problems with this car," he said. "We thought we had it fixed, but we obviously have more homework to do. I'm happy that we raced well and put on a good show, starting 29th and finishing fourteenth despite getting taken out twice. It was a good day even though the car's pretty banged up. My guys told me that this was the most aggressive that they've ever seen me driving, and here you have to be. The only way to make this car go is to be aggressive with it, so that's what I had to do. I'm happy for my sponsors Baran Institute of Technology and Engineered Floors, Inc. with what we pulled off here today considering where we started."
At the spectacular Iowa Speedway, Anton Racing unloaded a new car that hadn't seen pavement until it came off the hauler. That car produced results right away as it gave Anton his best starting spot in his three-year Busch East career, seventh.
In the race, Anton ran near the front for the whole race. When all other teams took on tires during the 200-lap race, Anton pitted once under a lap 78 caution, took on fuel only, and ran to the end of the race on that. That strategy, combined with a good car and a good driver, combined to produce an eighth-place finish - third best among Busch East competitors.
"I had that feeling in practice that this was going to be a good car, I just knew it all along," Anton said after the race. "We proved it in qualifying and we proved it in the race. We didn't change tires at all. That wasn't the plan going into the race because we didn't have a plan when we started. We decided to pit when the leaders pitted and we came in to get fuel around lap 80, and that was it. I was terrified that we were going to run out of fuel, but Scott Coyle, my main man in the shop, said to stay out there and I listened to him and it paid off. The car ran the same lap times at the end as it did at the beginning of the race. It's the best car I've ever driven. This car was built by me and Scott with my geometry underneath the hood. We made everything on this car and we're proud of it."