Owners - Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel
Manufacturer - Toyota
Cars and Drivers
No. 96 DLP HDTV
Hall of Fame Racing underwent a complete overhaul in the offseason, as the departure of Tony Raines prompted management to bring in J.J. Yeley from Joe Gibbs Racing. Raines finished 29th in the Nextel Cup standings, qualifying for 34 of the 36 races with one top-10 finish and three DNFs. HOF seems to be upgrading. Last season Yeley finished 21st in what is now the Sprint Cup standings for JGR while qualifying for 34 of 36 races; he finished second in the Coca-Cola 600 and had three top-10 finishes.
The trip won't be much of a change for their lone driver, though, as HOF will maintain its partnership with Joe Gibbs as they shift from Chevrolet to Toyota for the upcoming season. The No. 96 Camry will be led by crew chief Brandon Thomas, who has held the position since the late 2006 season. He will have to start anew with Yeley's introduction, and the strained relations the team had with Raines regarding his lagging performance makes the new blood that much more welcome.
Engineering and Resources
The transition from Chevrolet wipes the slate for the mechanical side, but the retained pact with JGR alleviates the transition. The team finished 28th in the driver standings and 23rd in the owner standings with Raines at the wheel, but they have reason to be optimistic.
Their switch in make has brought early returns with the Car of Tomorrow as Toyota saw vast success at the 2008 Dayton testing at Speedweeks. Yeley gave a glimpse of what could come, finishing atop the Preseason Thunder Drafting Speeds practice with a 48.036 time for Day 2 of Session 1. Under the Chevy model in 2007, HOF was one of only five teams to post an improvement of three places or better during COT races in comparison to their non-COT events; Raines averaged a 24.3 finish.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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