BUSCH: Tony Raines cracks top ten

Tony Raines, driver of the No. 33 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet, cracked the top ten in the NASCAR Busch Series Points this weekend with another top fifteen finish at Watkins Glen this weekend. Raines, a former ASA Champion and last year's Busch...

Tony Raines, driver of the No. 33 BACE Motorsports Chevrolet, cracked the top ten in the NASCAR Busch Series Points this weekend with another top fifteen finish at Watkins Glen this weekend.

Raines, a former ASA Champion and last year's Busch Series Rookie of the Year, and the BACE Motorsports team have vied for a top-ten-series-points position all season, via reorganizing crew members to changing engine programs. After a solid performance at The Glen, starting in the 23rd position and barreling up to the front of the pack, Raines ran in the top five most of the day until the Bayer Chevrolet became so tight it was hard to turn in the right side corners. Finishing fourteenth, Raines sees better things on the horizon for the BACE Motorsports.

"Performing consistently in the top ten in a lot of ways is harder than winning races. It takes the whole team coming together- working and communicating. We're performing stronger at every event, staying in the top ten for about half of the race, and then we'll drop back to somewhere around fifteenth. The reasons for that haven't been consistent themselves. Sometimes it's me; sometimes it's the car. Sometimes it's just racing.

"We usually have a strong top 15 finish and we're building from there. Coming in second at South Boston and having increasingly stronger runs at Myrtle Beach and the Glen have given us some of the confidence we didn't have before. It's what has propelled us into the top 10 in the points standings."

Though the goal for most drivers- including Raines- in the Busch Series is to win a championship and compete as a top ten team, the BACE Motorsports team -like everyone else- wants a win. Unlike most of the series' competitors, they want to build a team to win, contrary to building a team from a win.

"A lot of teams get out there and compete week to week thinking if they got that win it would push the team to perform more consistently. That doesn't work, that just makes you frustrated. What we're doing is building off our consistency to get that first win. If you have a strong starting point, a level ground to work from, you won't get just one win- you'll get multiple wins. And in the end that's the only way to really get there."

The BACE Motorsports team knows about winning races and winning championships. The team has accrued three Busch Series Championships (1995, 1996, 1997) and two NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year titles (1994 and 1999). Tony Raines, pilot of the No. 33 Bayer Chevrolet, is the 1996 American Speed Association Champion and the 1999 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series' Rookie of the Year. Raines has also accumulated four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Raines