A storybook ending just wasn't in the cards. Tony Raines struggled throughout the season-ending Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and finished a disappointing 29th in his final start in the No. 96 DLP HDTV ...
A storybook ending just wasn't in the cards.
Tony Raines struggled throughout the season-ending Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and finished a disappointing 29th in his final start in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Hall of Fame Racing.
"We just never could get going tonight," said Raines, who helped the team to owner-point finishes of 26th and 25th, respectively, in its first two years of operation. "We struggled from the beginning and never could get up front."
The race was quick, at just more than three hours and two minutes. And several long green flag runs, three of which were of 50 or more laps, hurt any chance of getting to the front.
"The long green flag runs really hurt us," Raines said. "We got a couple of laps down and didn't get a lot of chances to work on it. It's too bad, but it's the way it goes."
After 63 races with the DLP team throughout the last two seasons, Raines will move on. J.J. Yeley will drive the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry beginning in 2008 in the newly named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"I really enjoyed my time with Hall of Fame Racing and the DLP HDTV Team," Raines said. "It's tough to say good-bye, but we had two really good years together. We finished 25th in the owner points this year, so that will give them a great foundation to build on for 2008. I can't thank everyone at Hall of Fame Racing and DLP enough for the last two years. They're both class organizations and I enjoyed representing them both. I wish them the best of luck in the future."
Despite finishing 29th, the No. 96 car dropped only one spot to 25th in Nextel Cup owner points. Raines fell one spot to 29th in driver points.
There were seven caution periods for 32 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 267-lap race.