Jeff Anton Makes Progress With Short-Track Car, Finishes Twelfth At South Boston South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - While the first couple of outings for Anton Racing's short-track car have found driver Jeff Anton wanting more speed both in ...
Jeff Anton Makes Progress With Short-Track Car, Finishes Twelfth At South Boston
South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) - While the first couple of outings for Anton Racing's short-track car have found driver Jeff Anton wanting more speed both in qualifying and race settings, Saturday night's South Boston 150 saw things start to turn around with his making the field on time and racing to a twelfth-place finish in the No. 30 Baran Institute of Technology/Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet.
Coming off a season-best eighth-place performance at Iowa Speedway last month in the new speedway car, Anton returned to the short track wars with the car that had a best finish of fourteenth so far this season. For the first time in three races, the car qualified on time, starting the race from the nineteenth position.
"We definitely could be faster, but I think that, compared to the last time we had this car out, the car is definitely improved," the Russell, Mass. driver said before the race. "It's not the fastest out there yet but we keep on chiseling away at it and we'll have it decent before too long. This track is narrow so we'll have to keep my eyes open way ahead to make sure I don't get caught up in anyone else's messes."
Fifty laps into the South Boston 150, Anton broke into the top fifteen as the early running of the race was slowed by just a pair of caution flags. Running the entire race without a pit stop, he kept chipping away towards the top ten while avoiding incidents and running a clean race on his way to a twelfth-place finish. After the race, he was happy with how the short-track car was running.
"This is the best that we've gotten this car to run yet, so we're happy with that," he said. "But after we ran so well at Iowa, we're not happy with twelfth-place finishes. We'd like to run in the top ten everywhere we go now. The car was good on the restarts, but about seven laps into the run the car would start fading away and guys would start pulling away from me. And it was really tough to pass here unless you got a nose up under someone and forced the issue, or wait for someone to make a mistake and take advantage of that. All in all we raced smart without getting impatient, and that usually pays off."
The problems with the short-track car were familiar, but getting better.
"The front end had no bite, and the second I'd get on the gas the rear would lose bite," Anton explained. "It was pretty bad, but near the end of the race I tried going lower and lower in the turns and found some bite way down on the track. The rear bite still wasn't there, but at least I could turn the car."
Anton returns to the track next weekend as the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series makes its annual visit to Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. He finished ninth at the half-mile last year.
"We'll take what we learned here and work on the front end geometry before going to Stafford, and we should be even better there," Anton said.