Charlotte II: Tony Raines race report

Early Accident Causes Long Night for Raines at Charlotte Tony Raines was involved in an early accident in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and finished 31st. Raines, driver of...

Early Accident Causes Long Night for Raines at Charlotte

Tony Raines was involved in an early accident in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and finished 31st.

Raines, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Hall of Fame Racing, started 41st but managed to move up to 23rd by lap 75. Some nifty driving, coupled with crafty pit strategy and chassis adjustments directed by crew chief Brandon Thomas, allowed Raines to pick up 18 positions.

After battling a loose race car for the first 21 laps, Raines, who was in 38th-place, pitted for the first time on lap 22 after a caution came out due to an accident involving David Ragan and Reed Sorenson. Thomas called for a wedge adjustment and for only two tires to be changed on the car, and Raines, thanks to quick work by the DLP crew, restarted the race in 30th.

The adjustments worked and by lap 75, Raines had a car that was handling well and was in 23rd position.

Unfortunately on lap 76, Raines spun in turn four and made slight contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall. The DLP Chevrolet suffered moderate damage to its left-rear corner and Raines had to pit twice for repairs before restarting in 29th.

Raines was never able to crack the top-25 again and also had to deal with an overheating engine on lap 260, thanks to a piece of paper that was covering part of the grill openings designed to bring air into the engine and keep it cool

With steam shooting out of the engine, the DLP crew came to the rescue by pumping cold water through the radiator during a pit stop that got the temperature back to normal.

From there, Raines fell six laps down and finished a disappointing 31st.

"It was a tough night for the DLP guys," Raines said. "I'm not sure what happened in turn four. It just spun around. It's disappointing because the car was getting better with each run."

Raines' 31st-place finish caused the No. 96 car to fall one spot to 26th in Nextel Cup owner points. Raines also fell one spot to 31st in driver points.

The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule -- the sixth race of the 10-race Chase for the Nextel Cup -- is the Oct. 21 Subway 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 1 p.m.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Raines , David Ragan , Reed Sorenson
Teams Hall of Fame Racing