Daytona 500: Tony Raines race report

Late Crash Causes Raines to Finish 33rd in 49th Daytona 500 Tony Raines was in the wrong place at the wrong time. On Lap 173 of the 200-lap Daytona 500, Raines was caught up in a multi-car accident at the exit of Turn 2, which resulted in...

Late Crash Causes Raines to Finish 33rd in 49th Daytona 500
Tony Raines was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On Lap 173 of the 200-lap Daytona 500, Raines was caught up in a multi-car accident at the exit of Turn 2, which resulted in heavy damage to the right-front of Raines' No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevy, and a 33rd-place finish.

The accident started when last year's Daytona 500 winner, Jimmie Johnson, crashed into the outside retaining wall exiting Turn 2. His car then slid across the track into Jeff Green's car, which then slid into Raines' car. Denny Hamlin and rookie David Reutimann were also involved in the accident.

"It was just three-wide restrictor-plate racing," Raines said. "Somebody got into the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and caused a wreck. I don't know. Three-wide, with forty to go, I kind of expected that to happen. We had nowhere to go."

Raines started 20th in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet, but fought a tight condition for much of the first three-quarters of the event. Crew chief Brandon Thomas attempted to fix the situation with several track-bar and tire-pressure adjustments throughout the first 150-laps. Finally, after the DLP team's fifth pit stop of the race, on Lap 156, the DLP Chevy began handling much more to Raines' liking.

"We had gotten it better," Raines said. "The car was getting better. That was the best that it had been so far. Mostly it was tight off of (Turn) 2 all day. But, we got it better, and I was optimistic that we'd get a good finish."

Unfortunately, the accident ended any chance of a good finish.

The DLP crew, headed by Thomas, worked hard to repair the damage throughout a series of pit stops late in the race, and thanks to their hard work, and some additional accidents involving other competitors, the DLP team managed to move from 38th to 33rd.

"It's a long couple of weeks to be down here for it to end up like that," Raines said. "It's disappointing."

Kevin Harvick won the Daytona 500 to score his 11th career Nextel Cup victory and first at Daytona. Mark Martin finished second by .020 of a second, while Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton finished third. Mike Wallace and rookie David Ragan rounded out the top-five. Elliott Sadler, Kasey Kahne, pole-sitter David Gilliland, Joe Nemechek and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.

Raines leaves Daytona 32nd, unofficially, in the point standings, with 64 points. He is 126 points behind leader Harvick and three points behind 30th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule is the Feb. 25 Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in Fontana. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live, high-definition, coverage provided by FOX.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Mike Wallace , Tony Raines , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , David Reutimann , David Gilliland , Elliott Sadler , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing