Raines and Bayne discuss making the Daytona 500

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Ford Racing press release

TONY RAINES – No. 26 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion

Tony Raines, Front Row Motorsports Ford
Tony Raines, Front Row Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

“You can imagine it’s huge for me and it’s a big accomplishment for the team. Having qualified fast enough we didn’t have to put ourselves at risk today in the 150s, so it was a huge load off. Unfortunately, the other two cars – one got destroyed in the Shootout and one in the first Duel – so we’re getting a little low on cars, so that’s why we were a little bit careful, but I’m pretty excited about looking forward to running all day Sunday and getting the best finish we can.”

WHAT WILL YOUR APPROACH BE FOR SUNDAY? “Tentatively, that’s our plan to be on defense for most of the race, but I’m a typical driver. I suppose I’ll get bored at some point and want to see how fast I can go and I’ll probably get yelled and have to go back, but our number one goal – for sure – is to finish because watching the Shootout and the first Duel you just assume there are gonna be a few wrecks and our goal is to finish in one piece as high as we can and to help this kind of team to get off to a good start. Finishing 43rd or 42nd is not what they’re looking for, so, like I said, we tore up a few cars already, but once you get out there and get going, it’s hard to ride back there the whole race. But the second race it didn’t seem like those guys could close up as easy as what they had last year, so you have to be a little careful, but you’ve got 500 miles to work on it.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TAKE HOME A CHECK LIKE $250,000? “I went from negative to positive too, but this team has always run the third car off-and-on to help supplement the other two cars, so this is the one race where you can run on the purse, so to speak. It’s a good shot in the arm to get started because I believe if we had to race our way in today, and done that, I don’t know that we would have had enough money to race all day Sunday. To me, the best opportunity was to be fast enough out of the box where we can concentrate on running the race and hopefully pick up some sponsorship and put out a real good effort on Sunday.”

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TREVOR BAYNE - No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion

Trevor Bayne, Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Trevor Bayne, Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO REPEAT ON SUNDAY? “Man, I’m really excited about Sunday. It really can’t get here fast enough. It’s just a build-up all week long and we’re getting pumped up about it, but we’ll see what happens once the race starts and we get going there. It was really good to get on the track and actually move around and race today. I learned a lot being at the front early in the race with Carl Edwards and Michael McDowell. We got up to the front there a couple times and being in the middle and the back of the pack I just wanted to move around and try to get a feel for the whole pack because a majority of the time you don’t get the luxury of being in the lead, so I just wanted to learn and that’s what we did today. I was really proud of our team. They’ve built a great race car. I hit a spring off of Danica’s car or something, right in the center of the grille, so they’ll get that all patched up and we’ll be ready to roll again for the 500.”

HOW IS YOUR HEALTH AND ARE YOU APPROACHING THIS YEAR ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN LAST? “No. On that question, I come into every season just fired up and ready to go racing and make the best of our opportunity. Unfortunately, I’m not running Nationwide full-time this year, so the races that we do run, we just go to win them, I guess. That’s the thing that changes our perspective more so than winning the Daytona 500 or anything like that. The 500 perspective is a little bit different this year because I think we get a little bit more greedy when we know we have the chance to win. You’re not complacent with a top-15 finish, so you want to be at the front as quick as possible and make it all work, but my health is great. I feel good to go. I flew in an F-16 the other day. That one put me under the weather for about a half-a-day, but that wasn’t due to anything wrong with me, that was just a lot of g-forces, but I feel good to go again.”

WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY AND IS THERE PRESSURE TO PERFORM WELL TO ATTRACT A SPONSOR? “I don’t really feel pressure in that. I’m 20 years old and wanted to make it as quick as I can. Wow, I’m 21. He just told me how old I was. I’m 21 years old, so I’m even older, but, for me, I want to make the most out of my career as early as I can. I would love to be full-time Cup this year, so the sponsorship, as soon as it gets here, I’m ready to go racing, but I don’t feel anymore pressure in that. I want to perform whether we have a full-time sponsor or whether we have no sponsorship I want to perform the same and that’s to win races and to win championships and just give it everything that we’ve got. That’s what my team knows. They know that if we’re giving it everything we’ve got, then there’s nothing more we can do. That’s what I told them before the race today and that’s what I’ll tell them before the 500 and you can still sleep at night when you know you’re giving it all that, but I feel good about this season and I think we’re gonna have some really strong runs. I think we’re gonna have a strong run here and, as far as the first part of that question, my posse just got here today, so they weren’t here for my birthday, but I didn’t really do much. I just went to dinner, so that’s about it.”

HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO BE IN THIS SITUATION WHERE YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD BE DOING AT THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER? “A little bit. It’s always frustrating when you feel like you can and should be doing more as far as races go. I’d love to be running Nationwide full-time and it’s almost a little bit of a step sideways for me this year because I’m not running full-time in Nationwide, but we can always add on to that. I’m hoping that we’ll be leading the points after the first three races and we’ll have sponsorship and go racing some more, but it’s like I said, I just have to make the most of all the opportunities that I have and show everybody that I’m not gonna sit around and complain about it. I’m fortunate to be the age that I am and have the opportunity that I have. I’ve raced against thousands of kids along the way that don’t even get this chance, but I want to be around for a long time and stay around, so that requires having sponsorship, that requires running for championships, and running for race wins and that’s what we want to do.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags bayne, ford, front row, raines, wood brothers