Flat Tire Can't Keep Jeff Anton Out Of New Hampshire Top Fifteen Loudon, N.H. (June 27, 2008) - A flat tire and a brush with the outside wall weren't enough to keep Russell, Massachusetts' Jeff Anton from finishing fifteenth in Friday evening's...
Flat Tire Can't Keep Jeff Anton Out Of New Hampshire Top Fifteen
Loudon, N.H. (June 27, 2008) - A flat tire and a brush with the outside wall weren't enough to keep Russell, Massachusetts' Jeff Anton from finishing fifteenth in Friday evening's NASCAR Camping World East Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Anton, driving the No. 30 Engineered Floors/Fast Track Medical Response Systems Chevrolet, lost two laps after suffering a flat tire but got both of those laps back to post that top-fifteen finish.
Anton had tested at the Loudon, New Hampshire track back in May and reported optimism for when the series would return to run the Heluva Good! Summer 125. The weekend got off to a slow start when rain forced the cancellation of both practice and qualifying. The 36-car field was lined up by points standings and teams given 90 minutes of practice first thing Friday morning.
Starting sixteenth, Anton took advantage of some pit strategy to put himself in the top five with twenty-five laps into the books. He made his own pit stop under a lap 34 caution and took the next restart back in sixteenth. But things took a turn for the worse when the green flag flew.
"Going into turn one, we had a right front just go flat on us," he said. "You can't do much about that at that point so we went up the track and bounced off the wall. Luckily we started on the outside and nobody else got caught up in that. It could have been a lot worse."
After a stop to put on right-side tires and assess the damage, Anton returned to the race down two laps. The car wasn't hurt and he could still run competitively with a couple more adjustments.
"With the new right-side tires, the car tightened up too much," he explained. "We're tight enough here to begin with, so that didn't help. We made some stops under cautions making adjustments to fix it, but what really helped was the sun going down enough to put the track in shadows, then the car really started handling better."
With late cautions came 'lucky dog' free passes that got Anton back on the lead lap. He made up what ground he could, dodging a couple late wrecks, and brought home a decent finish.
"All in all, we didn't quit and wound up having a good race," he said. "The car's not hurt too bad, which is good. Nothing seemed to be messed up from hitting the wall, and that's pretty fortunate because we could have been completely done at that point."
Anton, currently fifteenth in points after the fifth race of the year, returns to action in a couple weeks when the Camping World Series comes to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Saturday night, July 12th.