Michigan II: Tony Raines race report

Long Day Ends Long Weekend for Raines, DLP HDTV Team Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team could never quite find the right combination to make their No. 96 Chevrolet get around the 2-mile oval that is Michigan International Speedway. As a result,...

Long Day Ends Long Weekend for Raines, DLP HDTV Team

Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team could never quite find the right combination to make their No. 96 Chevrolet get around the 2-mile oval that is Michigan International Speedway. As a result, they finished 34th in Tuesday's rain-delayed 3M Performance 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race.

The race was originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 19, but was postponed until Tuesday due to rain, the first Nextel Cup race run on a Tuesday since July 4, 1978 at Daytona (Fla.), when the Firecracker 400 ran on its traditionally scheduled Fourth of July date.

Raines started 37th in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet and along with the 42 other drivers, completed the first 10 laps under caution as heavy fog kept the race from going completely green. After 10 laps NASCAR officials had the cars park on pit road for more than 45 minutes as everyone waited for the fog to subside.

Finally, at 11:02 a.m., nearly 45 hours after the original start time on Sunday, the race went green. Unfortunately for Raines and Co., they never ran higher than 30th as they struggled with a car that could not hang with the leaders.

Despite a series of wedge, track-bar and tire adjustments, the team could not seem to hit on anything that worked, and a long, green flag run from lap 99 to lap 177 caused Raines to go down two laps and ultimately finish 34th.

"It was a long day and a long weekend," Raines said. "We made some progress during the race, but the long, green flag runs didn't help us. We'll go to Bristol and see what we can do. The CoT races have been pretty good for us, so hopefully we can have a better weekend there."

The No. 96 fell two spots to 24th in Nextel Cup owner points with 2,061 points. Raines fell one spot to 32nd in driver points with 1,778 points.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Raines