Dover: Tony Raines race report

Automobile racing can produce great highs and great lows. Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team saw that first hand on Monday as a loose wheel cost them a potential top-10 finish in the Autism Speaks 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Dover (Del.)...

Automobile racing can produce great highs and great lows.

Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team saw that first hand on Monday as a loose wheel cost them a potential top-10 finish in the Autism Speaks 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Raines was running 14th on Lap 228 of the 400-lap event when a loose left-rear wheel caused the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet to begin behaving erratically. The team was forced to pit under green to change both left side tires, which caused Raines to go down two laps. He fell al the way back to 30th-place, but managed to fight back to a respectable 21st-place finish.

"The wheel came loose," Raines said. "It was bad enough that it started making the car do things it's not supposed to do. You can't drive it like that; it's only going to make it worse.

The loose wheel caused Raines's first top 10 of the season to go up in smoke. Raines started 25th in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet, and methodically worked his way through the field throughout the first half of the race. He cracked the top 20 by lap 71 and cracked the top-15 by Lap 117.

"We had a shot at a top-15 or a top-10," Raines said. "It was one of the better cars we had all year. It's unfortunate."

Raines remained 23rd in driver points with 1,218 points. Raines is 841 points behind leader Jeff Gordon and 11 points back of 22nd -place Juan Pablo Montoya.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Raines