Texas: Raines Friday media visit

TONY RAINES, NO. 96 DLP HGTV MONTE CARLO SS, 26TH IN POINTS, MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA DURING THE WEEKLY TOP-10 BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING RACE AND THE SEASON SO FAR ON THE TRACK AND "THE BUMP": "I didn't think the bump...

TONY RAINES, NO. 96 DLP HGTV MONTE CARLO SS, 26TH IN POINTS, MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA DURING THE WEEKLY TOP-10 BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING RACE AND THE SEASON SO FAR

ON THE TRACK AND "THE BUMP": "I didn't think the bump was that bad particularly if you were at the bottom of the track. But as the race wore on it definitely got more noticeable. But when we get on the track here in a half-hour or so we'll know a lot more for certain."

ON GOING TO PHOENIX WITH THE IMPALA SS: "I think Phoenix is going to be a really good first test for the Impala SS on a bigger track. It's a little over a mile and Bristol is a unique case unto itself. I think it's going to show what you can and can't do with (the car). I've tested at Richmond and Richmond and Phoenix are pretty similar, so we'll see what happens."

IS THERE ADDED PRESSURE ON BEING WHAT IS IN EFFECT THE TEAM'S HOME TRACK? "I don't think there is anyone putting any additional pressure on us. It's like being at Charlotte where we all live and you want to run do well on your home turf. And obviously that's the case here with TI being based in Texas and (team owner) Troy (Aikman) being here, and there are employees, friends and families - so we'd like to run well here. But we'd like to run well everywhere. It would be fun to have a good run here in front of the home crowd."

IS THE CAR OF TOMORROW GOING TO EQUALIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BIG AND SMALL TEAMS? "I don't know. So far it hasn't. We had pretty good cars at both races but didn't get the finish we were looking for. The Richmond test went fair. There definitely is a smaller window for everybody."

ON GOING FROM THE IMPALA SS TO THE MONTE CARLO SS? "The first 20 minutes or so of practice it might take a bit of getting used to but it'll come back pretty quick I'm sure."

ON THE YEAR SO FAR: "I think we're about where we thought we'd be - other than the wreck in Daytona (which) put us back a bit. We've been a little faster everywhere and we've raced a little better. The potential's there. We haven't seen the results that we're capable of yet. We need to improve more. We need to improve every week because everyone else is improving too."

ON QUALIFYING AGAINST SO MANY TEAMS: "It's going to be more difficult. It's going to be a dogfight all year. We're not out of the top 35. Being out of the top 35 makes it worse as you've got to work harder to get back in. The competition (there) is definitely much tighter."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup