ES: Greenville-Pickens: Jeff Anton race notes

Jeff Anton Set Back By Handling Woes at Greenville, Finishes Eighteenth Greenville, S.C. (April 28, 2007) - The start to Jeff Anton's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series had a lot more in common with how his 2006 season ended than...

Jeff Anton Set Back By Handling Woes at Greenville, Finishes Eighteenth

Greenville, S.C. (April 28, 2007) - The start to Jeff Anton's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series had a lot more in common with how his 2006 season ended than the Baran Institute of Technology/Engineered Floors Chevrolet driver would have liked. In the last race of the previous season, Anton struggled with handling problems in his No. 30 Monte Carlo, and similar problems kept him from finishing no better than eighteenth in Saturday night's Greased Lightning 150 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

At the historic South Carolina half-mile, Anton took to the track in practice and began his third season in the NASCAR regional series. Quickly he realized the car wasn't handling right, but despite trying a number of possible fixes, those problems persisted into qualifying. On the outside looking in after time trials were completed, Anton was able to draw on his ninth place points standing from last year to earn a provisional starting spot for the feature event.

"I could be turning the steering wheel all day long and the thing will still go right up to the wall, it's pushing so bad," he said. "We couldn't seem to get over it and we've changed everything on the car. Maybe something's binding up or something. We'll have to take it home and go through it and figure some more stuff with it. Ever since we put the spec motor in it we can't get it to go. I don't know if it's a weight problem or a balance problem.

"I think when we're racing and not qualifying, we're at the same speed as everyone else, so we'll be OK once the tires start wearing," Anton continued.

Since the cars were impounded after qualifying, the Anton Racing team couldn't make any further changes to the car before the race. Those changes would have to come during the race, and they did, starting with a pit stop under the first caution on lap 26 and continuing with more stops under lap 37 and 82 yellows. Each time, Anton would return to restart the race from the tail of the field and make some progress, up to a point. But it never got completely cured and Anton did what he could, finishing eighteenth on the lead lap.

"It had no bite in the front or the rear," he said. "Going into the corner the front would wash up the track and the second I'd get on the gas, the rear would want to come around. It'd be nice if it did one thing wrong instead of two because it'd be a lot easier to fix. We came in three or four times to change wedge and the Panhard bar, but nothing really helped us out there. We just went out there knowing what I had and played it safe."

Anton will return to action with a unique doubleheader weekend on May 18 and 20. The 18th will feature a Friday night combination race with NASCAR West Series drivers at the short Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota while the 20th will be a similar combination race at the new 7/8ths mile Iowa Speedway.

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Anton