It Was Over In an Instant; Raines Finishes 28th at Bristol For a little while, it looked like it could be a good night. More specifically, for the first 127 laps it looked like it could be a good night. Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team...
It Was Over In an Instant; Raines Finishes 28th at Bristol
For a little while, it looked like it could be a good night. More specifically, for the first 127 laps it looked like it could be a good night.
Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team started 42nd in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and by lap 103 had shot up to 24th.
However, when the DLP team was about to make their first pit stop of the night on lap 127, Johnny Sauter made contact with the wall to bring out the caution. Raines was already on pit road and was passed by leader Kasey Kahne while maintaining the 35 mph pit-speed limit as he drove through.
The bad timing of being on pit road when the caution came out put the team back to 33rd, and more importantly, caused them to lose a lap to the leaders.
Raines was never able to recover and get his lap back, and as a result, finished two laps down in 28th.
"It's disappointing," Raines said. "We were great at the beginning of the race and were able to get 15 or so spots. The caution coming out when we were on pit road killed us because we never could get the lap back. We struggled in practice and qualifying (on Friday), but Brandon (Thomas, crew chief) and the DLP guys worked their butts off today to change the car and it showed in the first 100 laps. It's a shame we couldn't finish better."
Raines might have had a better shot at getting his lap back had the Sharpie 500 not been one of the odder Bristol races in recent memory. The race was a mere two hours and 59 minutes long, with only nine cautions for 61 laps. Compare that to the spring race when there were 16 cautions for 90 laps.
Raines' 28th-place finish caused the No. 96 car to fall one spot to 25th in Nextel Cup owner points with 2,140 points. Raines gained one spot to 31st in driver points with 1,857 points.