NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2008 NASCAR Driver Review: Tony Raines

Tony Raines

2008 Rides: No. 70 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet (10 races), No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet (one race), No. 08 E&M Motorsports Dodge (two DNQs)
2008 Primary Sponsors: Haas Automation, Hunt Brothers Pizza, iQ Drive (No. 70), doorstopnation.com (No. 34)
2008 Owners: Gene Haas (No. 70), Bob Jenkins (No. 34), John Carter (No. 08)
2008 Crew Chiefs: Dave Skog (No. 70), Scott Eggleston (No. 34), Mark Tutor (No. 08)
2008 Stats: 11 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 10 DNQs, 47th in points

High Point: After starting the Sharpie 500 in the 20th position, Raines kept the No. 70 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet clean despite the beating and banging that Bristol is known for to bring home a 17th-place finish – his best of the season and the second-best run of the year for the Haas CNC team he drove for.

Low Point: A top-10 starting spot in the AMP Energy 500 left the No. 70 iQ Drive Chevrolet team hopeful for a good finish, but it was not to be. In typical Talladega fashion, the Big One took them out of contention, leaving Raines to limp the car around the track for 50 laps to bring home a 34th-place finish.

Summary: Released from his full-time ride at Hall of Fame Racing after 2007, Raines spent much of 2008 as a Sprint Cup fill-in – and one can only describe his season as dismal. Racking up 10 – count ’em, 10 – DNQs with three different teams is not what we expect from a driver of Raines’s caliber. Known for doing a lot with a little, Raines only managed three finishes inside the top 25 and had three DNFs in the 11 races he did make.

2009 Outlook: With no ride prospects on the horizon, Raines has not ruled out a return to the Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series. He has stayed active in the offseason consulting for ARCA driver JR Fitzpatrick and TRG Motorsports.

Quote of the Year: “I’m open for anything, but I will say I’ve stayed on [the Cup] side of the garage looking more than I have on the other side. We’ll just see. You know, it’s a small community. When there’s an opportunity, they tend to know who’s available as drivers. It’s funny – they’re good at finding you when they need you.” – Tony Raines on his driving future

2006 Frontstretch Grade: C
2007 Grade: D-
2008 Grade: D

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