Richmond: GM - Raines top rookie press conference

TONY RAINES, NO. 74 BACE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: WHAT DOES THIS RUN DO FOR YOUR TEAM? "It's definitely a confidence builder. The best thing is I'll get off the 'who's not hot' list for at least a couple weeks anyway. They've been ...

TONY RAINES, NO. 74 BACE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:

WHAT DOES THIS RUN DO FOR YOUR TEAM?

"It's definitely a confidence builder. The best thing is I'll get off the 'who's not hot' list for at least a couple weeks anyway. They've been picking on me for not having a top 15, so thank God we took care of that. It's definitely a morale booster for the team because we feel like we can do this, but we're racing against some serious competition. We're a single-car team - under-funded and under-peopled right now. But, we've got a lot of heart and we've got a lot of smart people, so we're just trying to work the best we can and get smarter - do whatever we can do to get a little better. We'll do it."

WAS TONIGHT A CHARACTER-BUILDER OR A LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

"I think it was a little of both. Really in 'Happy Hour' I didn't think the car was that good. But, obviously I ran well in the Busch race. Our Busch program is helping our Cup program sometimes. In 'Happy Hour' the Cup car had driven well, but I'd try to drive it harder and it just wouldn't handle as well, so the key was really just settling into a rhythm and letting the track come to us. The other cars were slowing down and we kept running the same speed. I think we have the potential to do that. The next couple weeks will be hard. The big tracks are a little bit harder for us, but I'll look forward to coming back here in the fall. Maybe we can do a little better."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE BRINGING A KNIFE TO A GUN FIGHT SOMETIMES?

"It is really. But, Bill and Brian Baumgardner and their whole family - they've been racing Busch for years. They're great people. Everybody told them they couldn't do it, so that was just a good enough reason to go and do it, really. That's not the only reason. But, I think he wanted to race Cup and everybody kept telling him that maybe he wasn't prepared for it, couldn't do it. With the way the rules are coming tighter and tighter, it's possible, but it's extremely difficult. If we get some sponsorship we can hire some more people, we can go to the wind tunnel more. We can do all those things that (other) guys have been doing for years. I'm excited about it. I know it's good to get a top 15. But, I feel like every week we get a little smarter and we get a little better. We keep working on the car and I think after halfway, I feel like we'll do this more often than not. I think that says a lot for our whole organization."

-gm racing-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup