ES: Thompson: Jeff Anton race notes

Jeff Anton Gets Top Ten Finish In Thompson's Camping World Series Race Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) - Jeff Anton picked up his first top ten finish of 2008 when he finished tenth in Saturday's Pepsi Full-Fender Frenzy 100 at Thompson (Conn.)...

Jeff Anton Gets Top Ten Finish In Thompson's Camping World Series Race

Thompson, Conn. (July 12, 2008) - Jeff Anton picked up his first top ten finish of 2008 when he finished tenth in Saturday's Pepsi Full-Fender Frenzy 100 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. Driving a car that hadn't been raced in over a year, Anton qualified 21st but took advantage of restarts and overcame a loose race car to get a finish that allowed him to pick up two positions in the NASCAR Camping World East Series points standings to now run thirteenth.

Anton, of Russell, Massachusetts, came to Thompson's .625-mile oval with the No. 30 Engineered Floors Inc./Fast Track Medical Response Systems Chevrolet that hadn't been raced since it ran at Iowa Speedway over a year ago. That car practice and qualified mid-pack, with Anton acknowledging that it would race better than it had run in individual laps.

Once in the race, Anton proved to be correct. Starting 21st in a 28-car field, he made some progress but found the track behaving differently than it had been in previous Camping World Series races.

"Usually this track tightens up at night, this time it freed up a lot for us," he said. "It might be the setup we have in the car that did that."

The loose race car, which was still an issue even after a lap 35 pit stop for chassis adjustments, left Anton unable to be aggressive in traffic.

"We were extremely free getting in so I had a hard time driving in under people," he explained. "I had to get into the turns coasting, and we were awesome in the center of the corner, but then we were way too free getting off. It was a constant battle feathering the pedal the whole time."

Restarts proved to be excellent opportunities for Anton to improve his position, and there were four of them in the race's final forty laps. These, combined with an ability to miss other drivers when they got in trouble, enabled Anton to earn his first top-ten finish of the season.

"It was an exciting race," he said. "There was a lot of passing, a lot of everything. The problem here is that everyone tries to drive into the corners a little bit harder each time to get a little bit of an edge on the guy in front of them, and that's where the whole problem starts. They go that couple feet too far and slide up and nail the other guy. that's what I saw all day long.

"I was really good on the restarts, and there was one restart where I passed six cars right off the bat," Anton continued. "After a few laps, though, it'd start getting too free and the car would slow down too much. All in all, it was a good finish. I had high hopes that we'd do a lot better in this race, but we had a good run."

Anton quickly returns to action in a week when the East Series makes its second visit to the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tennessee. That race was one of last year's high points as he finished seventh on the historic track's high banks.

"We're looking forward to going to Nashville," he said. "It's a fun track with two good grooves. What we learned here will definitely help us when we go there."

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Anton