Tough Stretch Continues at Michigan for Raines, DLP HDTV Team
A tight race car early in the race, a spin in the middle, and a driveshaft problem late, caused Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team to finish a disappointing 39th in the Citizens Bank 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event June 17 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
"We just had a tough day," Raines said. "The car was pretty tight early on, but we felt like we had time to work on it throughout the race."
Raines, however, started 32nd and went a lap down early. He was never was able to run with the leaders, with a spin on Lap 116 doing nothing to help the cause.
"I was trying to get onto pit road (to make a pit stop under green) and keep some speed up," Raines said. "The car drifted up the racetrack when I turned the wheel. When the car drifted up, he (Elliott Sadler) tried to go under me. We got together and I spun out. It wasn't his fault. It's just one of those things."
After recovering from the spin, Raines and the DLP HDTV team hoped to still salvage a respectable finish.
Then, the third and final problem of the day reared its head when Raines radioed to the DLP crew just past the 160-lap mark that the car was experiencing a severe vibration.
It turned out that the car had experienced a problem with the driveshaft. A small weight, which is welded onto the driveshaft, fell off. Since the weight is there for balance, the car began to vibrate without the weight. It took the team about 10 minutes to change the driveshaft in the garage before Raines returned to the race.
Thanks to the spin and the driveshaft problem, Raines fell several laps down and completed only 184 of the 200 laps.
Raines fell to 27th in driver points with 1,319 points. However, Raines is only 19 points behind Sterling Marlin and Reed Sorenson, who are tied for 24th.