Phoenix: Tony Raines race report

Raines Finishes 14th at Phoenix, Moves to 21st in Points Tony Raines finished 14th in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix International Speedway. It was the second consecutive top-15 finish for Raines and the DLP...

Raines Finishes 14th at Phoenix, Moves to 21st in Points

Tony Raines finished 14th in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Phoenix International Speedway. It was the second consecutive top-15 finish for Raines and the DLP HDTV team as they finished 13th in their hometown race last week at Texas.

The result moved Raines up to 21st in Nextel Cup Series driver points and moved the No. 96 car up to 22nd in owner points. It is the highest position Hall of Fame Racing has attained in the team's short history, and also the highest points position Raines has ever enjoyed.

"It was a decent night," Raines said. "The car was tight pretty much the whole race, and we were better on the long runs. I think we could have finished a little better, but we'll take it and move on to Talladega."

Raines started 23rd in the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet Impala SS and stayed between 17th and 21st for much of the first 279 laps of the 312-lap race. With only six cautions for 36 laps, the field was spread out for the majority of the event with what seemed to be limited movement among the top-20 drivers.

However, Raines and the DLP team caught a break as teams began making their final pit stops under green on Lap 280. Several cars ahead of Raines began pitting, but a three-car accident in Turn 4 on Lap 285 brought out the final caution of the night and caused those cars to go a lap down. Raines and the others who pitted under yellow remained ahead of them.

"We caught a break," Raines said. "A lot of those guys pitted before the caution came out and got caught out and lost a lap. It helped us gain a few spots. We restarted 13th, but lost a spot at the end. The car wasn't real good at the start of a run. It was better on the long run, but it was still a good night for the DLP team."

Raines is 21st in driver points with 752 points. He is 574 points behind leader Jeff Gordon and 22 points back of 20th-place Martin Truex Jr. The No. 96 car is 22nd in Nextel Cup owner points, and its 752 point tally puts it 177 points ahead of the No. 21 car, which is in 36th place.

The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule is the April 29 Aaron's 499 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by FOX.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Raines , Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Hall of Fame Racing