ES: Watkins Glen: Jeff Anton race notes

Jeff Anton A Watkins Glen Accident Victim Watkins Glen, N.Y. (June 8, 2008) - Jeff Anton returned to the site of his NASCAR debut, Watkins Glen International, with high hopes of continuing his impressive road racing record. But in Sunday's ...

Jeff Anton A Watkins Glen Accident Victim

Watkins Glen, N.Y. (June 8, 2008) - Jeff Anton returned to the site of his NASCAR debut, Watkins Glen International, with high hopes of continuing his impressive road racing record. But in Sunday's NASCAR Camping World Series 125 At The Glen, Anton found himself the victim of another driver's mistake, retiring early and having to settle for a disappointing 25th place finish.

Anton, who made his first start in the series at Watkins Glen in 2004, was encouraged when the series announced it was returning this year. He had a fifteenth place finish in that debut race, and in his most recent road course outing, was third at Lime Rock Park last August. With more experience in the heavy stock cars, both in setting them up and driving them, the 2008 edition of the Glen should have been a season highlight.

That ended just past halfway in Sundays 125-miler.

Anton, who had started sixteenth, was just coming back from a pit stop under caution. The Anton Racing crew removed a rear spring rubber to improve the handling on the No. 30 Engineered Floors, Inc. Chevrolet and he was set to run to the finish. Biding his time, he became a victim of another driver's mistake.

"The 37 car just came down into the first turn and went completely off the track," Anton said. "He came right back on and just cleaned me out. He made a big mistake that caused both of our cars to be crashed out. He'll learn that when you go off the track, you should slow down and make sure you have an opening before you come back on at full steam. It ended our weekend on a real bad note."

The balance of the race was shaping up to be a good one for the Russell, Massachusetts driver.

"We had a really good car and we were keeping pace with everyone we were running with while only running about eighty percent," he said. "We were going to have a top-five run at the end. We were just settling in and running laps while letting everyone else go nuts and take themselves out of contention. I was on cruise control but I knew I could definitely out-brake the cars that were running in front of me. There was no reason to race them that early, though. We were just waiting for the right time, but I guess we were waiting while running in the wrong pack."

Anton escaped injury but the damage to the car was too severe to continue in the race, forcing him to have to settle for a 25th place finish. He now has a few weeks away from racing to prepare for the next Camping World East Series race, which takes place on Sprint Cup weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Practice and qualifying will be held at the Magic Mile on Thursday, June 26 with the 125-mile race held in the late afternoon of Friday, June 27.

-credit: ajc

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jeff Anton