Tony Raines, No. 96 DLP HDTV Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed racing at the Brickyard, returning to his home state of Indiana, how the weather could affect the weekend, their road course program, the Car of Tomorrow ...
Tony Raines, No. 96 DLP HDTV Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed racing at the Brickyard, returning to his home state of Indiana, how the weather could affect the weekend, their road course program, the Car of Tomorrow program, if he feels refreshed after the off weekend, if the 17 week stretch is daunting, the dynamics of qualifying on Saturday, if they are trying to work on getting a second car, if he feels like they're the fourth team of Joe Gibbs Racing, the performance of their team this season and their team owner expectations.
Select quotes from driver interview:
ON HIS STRONG RUN HERE LAST YEAR, HEADING INTO THIS YEAR'S EVENT AND THE CHALLENGES AT THE BRICKYARD: "We actually ran well here a couple years in a row, that was our best finish obviously, but it puts a little pressure on you too because now you'd like to do that or better and this is a race that everybody really works hard for. A lot of teams build new cars so the competition is always really tough but I think having had a good run here it certainly will help our confidence going in.
"I think this is a track that you either love or hate because it's unique compared to what we typically run on and one of the first truck races I ran was at the Homestead layout that was similar to this and I really enjoyed that so when I got to run here for the first time it felt good but it's a hard track. A lot of the good drivers will tell you that these long straightaways and them tight, tight turns one and three aren't the easiest corners of NASCAR racing. But just the fact that we're racing at Indianapolis and it's one of the two biggest races of the year, everybody gets jittery about it."
ON RACING IN HIS HOME STATE AND MEETING WITH AREA FANS: "It's good. It's actually been a lot of fun and it's been somewhat relaxing but as you get here and you start getting a little bit closer to practice time and everything, you start getting a little bit more nervous because you do want to run a little bit - not that you want to run better here because it's this race track but just every race we get keyed up for - but because it's more in my backyard, my hometown. I got a lot more family here. A good run here would mean a lot more to us than at some other places."
ON THEIR GOAL FOR THE SEASON: "Our goal is to be 20th or better. Last year it was 25th and we were 26th. Everybody was pretty pleased we were on target and I feel like this year we were better. We've been on pace a little better except for the bad luck. I was telling somebody last year we left here 22nd in the points and three weeks later we were 33rd and we worked our way back up to 26th. If we can have that kind of surge from now to the end we can be top 20."
-credit: gm racing