Hall of Fame Racing

by Tim Heaney on January 31, 2008 @ 13:16:19 PDT

 


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.

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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, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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