Kansas: Tony Raines preview

TONY RAINES We're Going To Kansas City; Kansas City Here We Come CORNELIUS, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2007) -- In 1959, singer Wilbert Harrison scored a Billboard No. 1 hit with the song "Kansas City." In the song, which has been covered by...

TONY RAINES
We're Going To Kansas City; Kansas City Here We Come

CORNELIUS, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2007) -- In 1959, singer Wilbert Harrison scored a Billboard No. 1 hit with the song "Kansas City."

In the song, which has been covered by several other recording artists through the years, Harrison, a native of Charlotte, N.C., sings the following lyrics:

"I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come. I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come," and "I'll be standing on the corner, on the corner of 12th Street and Vine. I'll be standing on the corner, on the corner of 12th Street and Vine."

Well, like Harrison, Tony Raines and the DLP HDTV team will be traveling from Charlotte to Kansas City this week, but rather than standing at the corner of 12th Street and Vine, they'll be racing at the corner of Interstates 70 and 435.

More specifically, they'll race at Kansas Speedway which is located where the highways intersect and which is hosting Sunday's LifeLock 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.

Raines hasn't found much success in Nextel Cup competition at Kansas, but he finished seventh in the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series event there. A year later, he backed up that performance by leading one lap en route to a fifth-place finish in the 2002 Busch race.

If all goes well Sunday, perhaps Raines can rekindle some of that success from the 2001 and 2002 Busch Series events, and maybe he and the DLP team will sing "Kansas City," all the way to victory lane.

TONY RAINES (Driver, No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet):

Overall thoughts heading into Kansas:

"It's a cookie-cutter. It's a mile-and-a-half tri-oval. I like the race track there. It's similar to Chicagoland and the old layout at Vegas, a little bit."

What does it take to have a good lap at Kansas?

"It's a lot like Chicago, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Atlanta. You need momentum and a good body on the car. It's a typical mile-and-a-half. Kansas and Chicago are probably more similar than most. You've got to get off turn 2 good at Kansas, that's for sure. Turns 3 and 4 seem to be tight for everybody, and turn 2 seems to be the fastest of the corners. So, if you don't get off there well, it really kills your overall lap."

The track was first used in 2001. Have you noticed a change to the track surface and is a second groove beginning to open up?

"I don't know about that. I think the grip has slowly gotten to be less and less. For qualifying, when you have sticker tires, it's got good grip. But as the tires fall off during the race, the car will slow down quite a bit. You get a good race out of it, though, because handling becomes more critical."

Do you enjoy driving at Kansas?

"Yeah, I enjoy it. The difference between Chicago and Kansas is pretty much turns 3 and 4. Turns 1 and 2 seem to be similar. In turns 3 and 4, you seem to go down into the corner and it seems to be a tight corner. At Chicago, the transition into the corner is a little bit different. Kansas is a great facility. I know from first-hand experience that Midwest race fans are some of the most passionate race fans, so going to Kansas has always been an enjoyable experience."

You had a pretty wild experience in the 2003 race at Kansas. Can you talk about that?

"I think we qualified 25th and, I think on the fourth of fifth lap of the race, we shed a left-rear tire coming off turn 4. The tire flew about 100 feet up into the air and I wrecked about half the field. The remaining cars behind me, we all ended up in a pile on the frontstretch. It was a dubious start to a Cup race, for sure. It was a brand new car and we'd had a decent qualifying effort. I think we ran about 10 miles and she was totaled -- along with about half the field."

You had two pretty hard impacts last week at Dover, one in the Busch race and one in the Nextel Cup race. Are you feeling sore?

"I think they were two of the harder hits that I've had in a long, long time. They were pretty viscous blows. And, unfortunately, neither one was really necessary."

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Tony Raines