Atlanta: Tony Raines race report

Tony Raines and the No. 96 DLP HDTV team struggled in the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and finished a disappointing 38th. From the drop of the green flag, the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet was ill-handling...

Tony Raines and the No. 96 DLP HDTV team struggled in the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and finished a disappointing 38th.

From the drop of the green flag, the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet was ill-handling and the team threw everything but the kitchen sink at the car to try and fix it. Nothing, however, seemed to click.

"It was a long, tough day," Raines said. "We just couldn't get the handling right on the car. That's one of the more frustrating days I've had. I know Brandon (Thomas, crew chief) is frustrated too. We need to go back and figure out what we did wrong, because we just didn't perform well at all today."

The 500-mile race lasted only 3 hours, 16 minutes and 23 second thanks to only 27 of the 325 laps being conducted under caution. That, coupled with an ill-handling car, caused Raines to go down two laps by the halfway point of the race. Adding insult to injury, Raines was penalized for speeding on pit road on Lap 196, and he had to serve a drive-through penalty under green-flag conditions, which caused him to lose even more laps.

At the end of the event, Raines was seven laps down and 38th on the scoreboard.

"Just a frustrating day," Raines said. "It seemed like we tried every adjustment in the book and everything we tried just didn't help."

Jimmie Johnson won the Kobalt Tools 500 to score his 25th career Nextel Cup Series victory and his second at Atlanta. Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five. Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Reed Sorenson and Mark Martin comprised the remainder of the top-10.

Raines dropped six spots to 31st in the Nextel Cup point standings. He has 313 points and is 316 points behind leader Martin and 12 points behind 30th-place Ricky Rudd. Raines is 39 points ahead of 35th-place Jeff Green.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya