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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Gatorade Duel

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2

Tony Raines
February 23, 2012


KERRY THARP:  Tony Raines joins us.  He got his way into the Daytona 500 based on his qualifying time earlier this week.
Tony, talk about that opportunity to race on Sunday for the 54th running of the Daytona 500.
TONY RAINES:  Well, as you can imagine, it's huge for me.  It's a big accomplishment for the team, having qualified fast enough, we didn't have to put ourselves at risk today in the 150.  It was a huge load off.
Unfortunately, the other two cars have destroyed a car, one in the Shootout, one in the first Duel.  We're getting a little bit low on cars.
I'm pretty excited about looking forward to running all day Sunday and looking for the best result we can get.
KERRY THARP:  Questions for Tony Raines.

Q.  Tony, because you're a small team, what is your thought process and approach on Sunday's race?  Are you planning on sitting in the back and letting things pan out?  Do you have an approach you're going to take to try to get to the end?
TONY RAINES:  Tentatively that's our plan, to be on defense for most of the race.  I'm a typical driver.  I suppose I'll get bored at some point, see how fast I can go.  I'll probably get yelled at and have to go back.
Our number one goal is first to finish.  Watching the Shootout, the first Duel, you're just assuming there's going to be a few wrecks.  Our goal is to finish as high as we can.  Finishing 34th or 32nd is not what they're looking for.  Like I said, we tore up a few cars already.
Once you get out there and get going, it's hard to ride back there the whole race.  The second race didn't seem like those guys could close up as easy as what they had last year.  You have to be a little careful.  You have 500 miles to work on it.

Q.  Tony, one qualifying lap you essentially go from negative dollars for the week to $250,000.  What does that mean to the team?
TONY RAINES:  Well, I went from negative to positive, too.  This team has always run the third car off and on to help supplement the other two cars.  This is the one race where you can run on the purse, so to speak.  So it's a good shot in the arm to get started.  I believe if we would have had to race our way in today and done that, I don't know if we would have had enough money to race on Sunday.
To me, the best of opportunities is to be fast enough out of the box where we can concentrate on running the race, hopefully pick up some sponsorship and put out a real good effort on Sunday.
KERRY THARP:  Tony, thank you for coming in and good luck on Sunday at the 54th running of the Daytona 500.
TONY RAINES:  Appreciate it.

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