Tony Raines Gets Full-Time Nationwide Team

David PhillipsAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2009

NASCAR driver Tony Raines will be driving for owner Bob Jenkins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Raines has four Truck series victories in his career, the last in 1998. He has competed in 128 Cup races and 194 Nationwide events, without winning in either series (though he did have a good showing sharing the DLP Chevy with Terry Labonte).

"It might start off as a B-level team, and it may stay that all year—or it might get better," Raines said. "That’s my goal, to try to help any way I can and improve it. At the same time, I enjoy racing.

"At this point in my career...realistically, do I have a shot to win? Probably not. I don’t like running bad; I don’t like running in the back. This will certainly give you a challenge to work on."

"I figured I needed something to do this year," Raines said. "[Owner] Bob [Jenkins] needed a driver, and he has the desire to get better a little bit at a time on a thin budget. I’m OK with that. If I can not tear up equipment and get a little better each week and improve from where they ended up last year, that’s the goal. It may not be the most exciting or a high-profile situation, but I enjoy racing, and I missed it last year."

Front Row will have Scott Eggleston to serve as crew chief for Raines’ Cup and Nationwide races, and Raines believes Front Row can show improvement.

"Sitting around at home is no fun, and it doesn’t pay worth a [darn]," Raines said.

Jenkins later came back with an offer: Do you want to run both series?

"I thought, 'Boy, I may have bit off more than I can chew,'" Raines said. "I went from not having enough to do to too much, but I think I’d rather do it that way."

The newly formed alliance between EGR and Front Row could help the team more than hurt them. This team has come a long way from the start and park operations that they did run, and also a few years back the No. 34 was raced in the Daytona 500 with Kevin Lepage.

Bob Jenkins has secured sponsorship for the first five races with Window World for its Cup effort with John Andretti and has five races with Long John Silver's on its Nationwide car with Raines.

If there is one guy who I would want on the team to help build around, Raines is a solid racer that's been around a while and could really help out an under-funded team.


Quotes Courtesy of