Tag Archives: Tony Raines

Mirror Driving: Montreal To Cup?, Atlanta Angst, And Where Have All The Rookies Gone?

*The Nationwide Series ran a wild and crazy race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, with rain tires and a roller coaster running order jumbling up the finish. Was the competition overall better than last year, and is this a venue where NASCAR should explore sending the Cup teams at this point?* Beth: It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't be too quick to move the Cup Series there. Jeff: I agree; while I liked the race, the circuit is just not ready for Cup. Amy: I’m with you two. I thought the race was decent, but in my opinion, it's a good venue for a NNS standalone -- and that’s it.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Montreal

For the third year in a row, Marcos Ambrose was the class of the field. And for the third year in a row, he failed to take the checkered flag at Montreal. Ambrose, who in an interview that ran during the race broadcast was quoted calling his secret to road racing “minimizing the mistakes made on every lap,” broke his own golden rule on the final circuit. Coming to the course's final turn, Ambrose was attempting to block a hard-charging Carl Edwards by running the middle of the track. And while the move successfully blocked Edwards, it also put Ambrose out of position for the last turn.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway

On a rare weekend where the Nationwide Series was the only show in town, Cup regulars were nonetheless the story all night long… though a different face did most of the dominating. With announcements swirling that he would be doing more Nationwide driving in his own No. 33 car next season, Kevin Harvick led over half the laps run on Saturday night and had something for Kyle Busch’s red-hot No. 18 team. That is, until an audible decision by crew chief Ernie Cope to stretch fuel mileage bit Harvick on lap 172, knocking the No. 33 car from contention and handing Kyle Busch his sixth Nationwide win of 2009.

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Bubble Breakdown: Mayfield Dealt Death Blow While Non-Top 35 Teams Struggle

As I am sure you’ve heard by now, some big news came from one of our bubble teams just prior to the Southern 500 this past Saturday night. However, I am not about to open my column talking any more than I have to about a run of the mill driver who manages to get himself suspended for failing a drug test. Instead, I would much rather focus on the positive ... like Sam Hornish, Jr. starting fourth with a career best qualifying run, or Joey Logano tying his career best finish with a ninth place performance, following up on a career best qualifying effort of his own -- starting fifth at what is arguably NASCAR’s most difficult track. But just like Jeremy Mayfield's test results, the Lady In Black wasn't kind to everyone to tried to conquer her this weekend.

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Mark Martin Gambles on Fuel Mileage to Win 2009 Southern 500 at Darlington

Ever since Darlington Raceway was repaved, races can be run to different rules as compared to the past. Saturday night was no different. Mark Martin and a few other teams gambled on fuel mileage Saturday night. While the rest of the leaders pitted for four tires and gas on lap …

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Aaron’s 312 at Talladega

It’s often been said that on a late restart, the last place a driver wants to be is leading a restrictor plate race. Ryan Newman found that out the hard way on Saturday. Despite playing the ride in the back strategy to perfection all day long after winning the pole Friday and leading at the white flag lap, the Rocket found himself unable to hold off the hard chargers behind him at the finish. But in this case, the second place driver didn’t take the win, either. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who had stalked Newman through the race’s final few laps, was unable to overcome Newman’s block in the tri-oval coming off of turn four. That opened the door for… David Ragan?

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2008 Driver Review: Tony Raines

*2008 Rides:* No. 70 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet (10 Races) No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet (1 Race) No. 08 E & M Motorsports Dodge (2 DNQs) *2008 Primary Sponsors:* Haas Automation, Hunt Brothers Pizza, iQ Drive (No. 70) doorstopnation.com (No. 34) No Sponsor (No. 08) *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) *Stats:* 11 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 0 Top 10s, 10 DNQs, 47th in points. *Best Finish:* 17th (Bristol - August). *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 finish of the year for the Haas CNC team he drove for.

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Mirror Driving: Sadler’s Last Stand, Diversity’s Shocking Surprise, And NASCAR Free Agents Losing Hope

*Elliott Sadler was released from Gillett-Evernham Motorsports in favor of A.J. Allmendinger, and promptly filed suit for breach of contract. Does Sadler have a leg to stand on, and what can he hope to gain - or stand to lose - from the suit?* Doug: Is a judge going to force GEM to field Sadler? No. Phil: That's true. Unless he was given some kind of absolute guarantee that the No. 19 was his in 2009, he's got nothing. Tom: I think Sadler's just protecting himself financially. The way this whole thing went down, I'm hard-pressed to see him driving for Gillett ever again.

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Bubble Breakdown: A.J. Allmendinger Shines In Possible Team Red Bull Finale

As NASCAR headed to Kansas this past Sunday, the big news from the bubble teams left many scratching their heads, as Team Red Bull is about to let A.J. Allmendinger go. According to the driver himself, he’s "almost 100% sure he’ll be out of the car after Kansas" after turning down a one-year deal to remain with the team in 2009. The pending divorce seems especially odd with the improvement the 'Dinger has shown this year. He’s improved his average starting position from 29th in 2007 to 21st in 2008, including nine Top 15 starts after failing to even qualify for _nineteen_ races just one year ago. His average finishing position has also shown a big jump, from 31st place in 2007 to 24th in 2008. Allmendinger’s finished in the Top 20 in nine of the 18 races he’s run since winning the Sprint Showdown in May, and has led in five different races this year. But despite the success, Team Red Bull seems to be chomping at the bit to get replacement Scott Speed in the car as soon as possible. If they could, Speed would even be in the car this weekend at Talladega; but because he isn’t licensed by NASCAR to drive at tracks larger than 1.5 miles, it’s expected that super sub Mike Skinner will take the wheel instead. Yet even in the midst of such a tough situation, Allmendinger still found time to leave his team a parting gift. What was it, exactly, and how did the other fellow bubble dwellers fare in the Midwest? Read on to find out in this week’s edition of The Bubble Breakdown.

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Deep NASCAR Thoughts From The Professor Of The Obvious

Well, it’s another fairly slow news cycle for the second week of August. Silly Season has quieted down a bit, although we’re all pretty much waiting to hear Ryan Newman make it official that he will be driving for Tony Stewart -- and of course, we’re still waiting with baited breath to hear where Casey Mears will end up next. So, with nothing new in the pipeline, I could have gone to the well and written another Kyle-Busch-Is-Pretty-Good piece after his eighth win of the season; but instead, we’ll explore a few random thoughts and observations that are dancing through my head as the season is just over 60% complete.

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