Raines joins forces with BACE Motorsports CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 1999) Tony Raines has signed with Bill Baumgardner's BACE Motorsports, driving the No. 74 Chevrolet, for a full 32-race NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division schedule,...
Raines joins forces with BACE Motorsports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 1999) Tony Raines has signed with Bill Baumgardner's BACE Motorsports, driving the No. 74 Chevrolet, for a full 32-race NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division schedule, beginning with the Feb. 13 NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
Raines, the 1996 American Speed Association champion who competed for the last two seasons for Roehrig Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will make his first NASCAR Busch Series start in 1999 and will be a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender.
"I feel the NASCAR Busch Series will be extremely competitive during the 1999 season and I am looking forward to coming in and competing each week," said Raines, a 34-year-old native of LaPorte, Ind. "The transition from the race truck to the Busch car will be a little easier than it was coming from the ASA Series to the truck series. On top of that it will be nice to come in with an already established and very competitive team."
BACE Motorsports won three straight NASCAR Busch Series championships from 1995 with driver Johnny Benson to 1997 with two-time champ Randy LaJoie. BACE Team Manager Steve Bird has been there for all three titles.
"We are very excited to have Tony come on board and drive for us this year," said Bird, who will continue as the No. 74's crew chief. "We see a lot of potential in Tony and think that we will be able to be one of the more competitive teams there each week."
The team has already tested at Talladega Superspeedway, and Raines said he was looking forward to working with the veteran crew.
"I just want to take one race at a time," Raines said. "I have been able to win a championship and BACE Motorsports has multiple championships under their belt. We both know what it takes to get to that level. They said they had such a bad season last year and they finished fourth in the points.
"That doesn't sound bad to me. If we can bounce back and have a good year, I don't think winning a race and finishing in the top-five in the point standings is out of the question. I don't think I could be in a better place for my Busch Series debut."
"Our goal for 1999 as a team is to be competitive each week and to continue to develop a fundamentally sound competitive ethic in our drivers," said Baumgardner, who will run a second team for young Jason Jarrett. "If we are able to accomplish a few wins along with the way, well that will just be icing on the cake.
"Tony brings with him the desire to run competitively and the desire to win. That is the type of attitude that has made BACE Motorsports the champions we are. That is what it will take to regain the championship seat at the banquet."
Raines had a contract to continue with Roehrig until the truck team owner ran into sponsorship difficulties. The No. 74 NASCAR Busch Series team currently has no sponsorship, but Baumgardner has committed to the full season regardless. In addition, he has indicated he might field a third full-time team as well as a partial effort for Benson -- including the season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300.
Source: NASCAR Online