Pocono: Tony Raines preview

TONY RAINES, DLP HDTV TEAM, POCONO 500 NOTES AND QUOTES CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2006 -- Pocono Raceway is considered an oval, but it's a strange one at that. Consider that the design brings into play three...

TONY RAINES, DLP HDTV TEAM, POCONO 500 NOTES AND QUOTES

CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2006 -- Pocono Raceway is considered an oval, but it's a strange one at that.

Consider that the design brings into play three turns, each a different radius, three straightaways, each a different length, as well as three different degrees of banking throughout the circuit.

What does that mean for Tony Raines and the No. 96 DLP HDTV team heading into this weekend's Pocono 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race?

Well, like every other team, they'll try to figure out how to get the car to drive right throughout as much of the track as possible, because the chances of getting the car to drive perfectly throughout the entire 2.5-mile oval is nearly impossible due to each section of the track being so different.

If the car is fast and handles well in one part of the track, it probably doesn't handle quite as well in another part of the track.

The key is to get the car to handle well on as much of the track as possible, and to do it for 200 laps.

TONY RAINES (No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevy):

Pocono is pretty unique, what makes it unique?

"It's got five turns in it. Or four to five, however you count it. Everybody knows it's different. It's a lot like Nazareth (Speedway, in Pa.), only bigger. When I ran there (in 2003), we shifted, so that will be a little bit of an adjustment there, not shifting."

How do you approach a weekend at a track were every turn is completely different?

"Yeah, you can't get the car completely perfect. You can only work on it so much, because you can't get it completely right, although you'd like to. You pick certain areas to work on. You gain your most speed off the final turn going onto the long straightaway at the front. So, that's where we'll concentrate a lot of time on."

You have not raced at Pocono since 2003, and since the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series don't race there, are you a little concerned with having only two starts at Pocono?

"Some concern. I won't, obviously, have as much experience as some other guys, but at the same time, I have raced there twice, so I've raced there more than the rookies. We'll just have to work hard, focus, pay attention and get the most out of it."

Thoughts coming out of Dover last week:

"We got off to a disappointing start. That spin really put us behind. It's was kind of a weird race because there was a long green-flag run and a lot of cars got put a lap down. We had about a 14-15th-place speed-wise, and we've been doing that a lot speed-wise; it's just that we're not getting the finishes and that's frustrating me. If you're running 14th-15th week-in and week-out, you'd think you'd finish there, but we seem to be struggling in that respect. But, the pit stops are real solid. We had some issues with the car, it was traveling too much, and it was dragging, so we're fighting some things we haven't fought lately. We'll get it sorted out eventually, though."

-hofr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Raines