by JamesJ, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
Sundays of my youth consisted of NASCAR racing and cold bottles of Mountain Dew. Thirty years later not much has changed for me. However, nearly everything has changed in NASCAR.January 8, 2010 3:00 pm UTC No Comments
Over the next several weeks we’ll be featuring car numbers in NASCAR history. We started with #50 and are working our way down the line. With each car number we’ll take a brief look at a couple stats related to the featured car number, but we’ll primarily spotlight either a driver, sponsor, car owner, manufacturer or other significant subject closely tied to the car number of the day.
While looking at subjects to consider for today’s post I came across a driver who came into NASCAR Cup racing at an age out of the norm. The Cup rookies of recent years seem to be getting younger and younger. If I were comparing today’s subject to a young rookie referred to as “Sliced Bread”, I’d have to refer to this driver as “Sour Dough Bread.”
Stats for all cars running the #37:
- Number of Races: 403
- Number of Wins: 1
- Number of Top 5s: 16
- Number of Top 10s: 73
- Number of Poles: 2
Check out current NASCAR race statistics here at On Pit Row!
Spotlight Subject: Driver Tony Raines
In a time where most all the new Cup drivers are these young guys coming in, Tony got his break in to the top series of NASCAR when he was in his 40s. Tony will tell you, “Racing is a lot of luck, both on and off the track.” In 1998, luck off the track was with him. The story goes, “I was flying home from the Truck Series Race at Sonoma (Calif.). A guy came onto the plane and sat down next to me and asked me what I did. I told him I raced in the Truck Series. He told me he owned a Busch Series team called BACE Motorsports. I was looking for a job, and he was looking for a driver. Two weeks later, we signed a contract. It was pretty wild how it came together.”
And thus Tony Raines began his Cup rookie season in 2003 totaling 41 races for BACE Motorsports. His best finish for BACE was a 6th place at Rockingham and he finished 33rd in the championship standings. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year standings. The team managed to run the vast majority of the year without major sponsorship. At the end of the season, when BACE couldn’t secure sponsorship, they closed the doors on their Cup operation and the following year ran a part-time schedule in the Busch Series with Tony. During the 2004 and 2005 seasons Tony would bounce from ride to ride around from the Cup, Busch and Truck Series driving for numerous team owners. One such owner was John Carter and his #37 Dodge. While Tony was primarily running a Busch Series car for Kevin Harvick at this time, Tony was determined to take as much seat time in the Cup series as possible. Those 5 races in the #37 would add to his Cup level experience, especially in the draft at Talladega where Tony would start dead last, but finish 22nd. Since that race he has equaled or bested that finish position in each of the four times he has returned to Talladega.
The determination and seat time paid off finally in 2005 when he got the call from the newly formed Hall of Fame Racing. HoF was a new race team owned by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Tony met with HoF Racing and shortly thereafter was offered the job. Finally, Tony would have a team with major sponsorship to compete in the Cup series. Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte was also hired to assist Tony and the new organization to help ensure they made the first few races with the added security of his champions provisional. In 2007 Tony had an average finish of 25th, and his best finish of 9th came at none other than Talladega while driving for HoF.
Despite finishing 29th in the 2007 Cup series standings and thereby keeping the HoF Racing team in the top 35 in owner points, Tony Raines was released at the end of the 2007 season. In 2008 HoF Racing put JJ Yeley behind the wheel of the DLP Toyota. Tony ran only limited Cup schedule in 2008 and mostly “start-n-parks” in 2009.
On an unrelated note, take a look at the #37 Patron Tequila car above. One of the complaints about the Car of Tomorrow has been that they’re ugly. But in my opinion the last generation of cars have always looked pretty ugly in their own right too. There’s hardly any symmetry to them. The front fenders were warped differently on each side, and same goes for the rear fenders. The green house always looked odd to me and the nose looks off center too. Nothing pretty about those cars either.
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.September 1, 2009 7:06 am UTC No Comments
NASCAR puts the final Cup SeriErikes off weekend behind themselves as the final push to make the playoffs begins.
But what have we seen this week? Kevin Harvick will remain at Richard Childress Racing for 2010 and Bobby Labonte will be out of the #96 Hall of Fame Racingride for seven of the final twelve races. Labonte was a guest ON PIT ROW last week and made no mention of the move. The sad state of the sport is that if there is no money to race; you don’t go racing. In the case of HOF Racing, their sponsor had only committed to the final five of twelve events and were not willing to fund the other seven races.
In steps Erik Darnell of Roush-Fenway Racing, who fields the cars for Yates Racing who partners with HOF, and brings sponsorship money with him. So while the number may be the same for those seven races, the car will not be a HOF Racing entry at all. In essence HOF Racing is loaning its number to Roush-Fenway to give one of its rookies and one of Ford Racing’s prospects some seat time.
This week’s ON PIT ROW will include an interview with Harvick, who had been rumored to be looking for a new ride. Harvick has made no excuses for the poor performance of his race team and the entire RCR effort. With the way things are in NASCAR today, Harvick may well have decided that knowing what he was dealing with was far less scary than entering a new and possibly worse situation.
This leads us to this week’s BUZZ ON PIT ROW:
If a driver is out of the Chase and moving to a new team the following year; should he be allowed to move in the current season?
Let us know what you think and we could use your response on this week’s radio show. Listen live to ON PIT ROW every Tuesday from 5-7pm ET. Call the show with your opinion and you could win a Kevin Harvick bobblehead if your call is deemed The Shell Nitrogen Enriched Call of the Day.
photo credit: Icon Sports Media
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowMay 8, 2009 10:01 pm UTC No Comments
I watched qualifying for Saturday’s Southern 500 and most of the Diamond Hill Plywood 300 Nationwide Series race tonight. Maybe Kyle Busch should have won the latter, but he didn’t. Matt Kenseth did. And Matty won the pole for tomorrow’s race too. Watch the Roushies this weekend. And maybe Sam Hornish. Yeah, Sam Hornish Jr.
NASCAR gets the racing out of the way early this weekend so that teams and fans can concentrate on Mothers day. It’s a NASCAR tradition that I appreciate. Quaint, but nice.
Ask.com is Bobby Labonte’s sponsor on the Hall of Fame Racing no. 96. Labonte’s birthday is this weekend and this week, the official search engine of NASCAR ran a promotion to celebrate.
Hundreds of fans submitted their ideas to Ask.com to be considered as the gift the Official Search Engine of NASCAR presented to Labonte on his 45th birthday. The suggestion from Hilary Mathis of Danville, Ill., inspired the gift – a commemorative racing helmet that includes the names of each fan that sent their supportive wishes and gift ideas over the past week.
Mathis has been a Labonte fan since 1997 and lists him and Brian Vickers as her top-two favorite NASCAR drivers. Ask.com has pulled together Mother’s Day content for fans. A special page on Ask.com includes interviews with the mothers of Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Reed Sorenson and Mathis’ fave, Brian Vickers. Here’s the Vickers story – from his mom….
When he was about 10 years old, he and his father were in the basement working on his go-kart getting ready for the next race. He was actually sitting in the go-kart while being weighed and just couldn’t sit still. He started sticking his fingers in the holes on the steering wheel and one of his fingers got stuck. We worked for hours trying to get his finger out, but that only made his finger swell. He wouldn’t let us cut the steering wheel off because it was his favorite one, so we had to take the wheel off the go-kart and he slept with it. He thought his finger would slide out just like it slid in – but that didn’t work. We went to the emergency room the next morning to see if they could get his finger unstuck, but they couldn’t either. And after all that they finally took him down to the maintenance department and had to cut the steering wheel off anyway.
To read more stories straight from the mouth of Brian Vickers’ mom, as well as childhood tales from the moms of NASCAR stars including Jeff Gordon, Reed Sorensen, Ryan Newman and Casey Mears search NASCAR Mother’s Day at Ask.com for some great Mother’s Day material.
Photo credit: Getty Images
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowOctober 2, 2008 1:05 pm UTC 3 Comments
Mindy didn’t think much of Hall of Fame – or Shame – Racing’s decision to dump Joey – Sliced Bread – Logano from the No. 96 seat. She liked Carl Edwards big move at Kansas and apparently, she approves of the Aric Almirola in a fire suit.
by Charlie Turner
Thanks for stopping by OnPitRow.com and the Bench Racing with Steve and Charlie blog. The best NASCAR and IndyCar news and opinion, exclusive pictures and video. I'm Charlie Turner. Follow me on Twitter @onpitrowAugust 7, 2008 12:40 pm UTC 1 Comment
J J Yeley has been replaced at Hall of Fame Racing by Brad Coleman, a twenty year old rookie who drives in the Nationwide Series for Baker-Curb Racing.
Coleman is talented and has been on the radar for awhile, making the big splash when Baker-Curb announced him as their main guy last season.
But Brad Coleman is no J J Yeley. Not yet anyway. He’s never had a season like Yeley had in 2003. Not many drivers have ever had a season like J J Yeley’s 2003. But that was then and that was USAC. The last couple of years have been different, trying to make a mark in NASCAR’s top series.
I can’t help thinking that Yeley’s talent will buy him another opportunity. He can go race something else, sure. He will. But there is unfinished business in the Sprint Cup Series. I hope he gets the chance again.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.
by Charlie Turner
Do you think that “the incident” at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night was evidence of the “vengeance of the Shrub”? After-all, Dale Earnhardt Jr did spin out of the lead because of contact with the guy who used to have his seat at Hendrick Motorsports.
Just about everybody that we have talked to in the last week – from Larry McReynolds to Joey Logano say that they think this was a racing deal. Plain fact. I just can’t find the stones to argue that.
Should NASCAR drop the “ruse” of team owners being allowed only four Cup teams?
Charlie: First, you have to believe that the present rule is a false one. The rule was written with a real intent to limit the size and power of the super-team organizations. The advent of satellite teams for the Hendrick, Gibbs and Roush’s of the NASCAR world has effectively circumvented the spirit, if not the actual law, of the original ruling. That said, there is still a limiting effect on the big teams which gives an impression that teams like Hall of Fame Racing and Yates Racing are maintaining independence. I say let the ruse continue.
Bruce: I think it’s ridiculous that they pretend to have a team limit. First, owners, their wives, their kids, heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone’s dog shows up as an owner some day. Now that we have satellite teams forming with partnerships, it’s getting even more complicated. (I’ll avoid the ridiculous term here for the moment) So if a team has a limit, is there a limit to how many satellite teams a team can have a team under with a team? (Look out Dr Seuss)
TZ: I think that between the both of you, you two hit the nail on the head on this topic. There is one thing Charlie said though, about Yates Racing maintaining independence, because they would actually be involved in the basis of my argument on this. Yates is the beneficiary of Roush-Fenway in so many ways, it’s not even funny. Roush plays a huge role in their engines, they’ve been trying to help them lock on some sponsorship deals, and in 2010, they’ll probably be handing them a driver. To answer the question though, not only should they “continue the ruse” as Charlie put it, but I would actually like to see them limit it to three teams – that’ll never happen though.
There you have it. That’s what we think. What do you think?
Continue the discussion with Tim’s post:
Do you think that the Nationwide Series will ever truly develop its own identity and if so, what will it be?
Bruce’s post asks for comment on this:
Denny Hamlin is having the worst luck in the world.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media, Inc.