Phoenix: Tony Raines preview

TONY RAINES, DLP HDTV TEAM, SUBWAY FRESH 500K NOTES AND QUOTES CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2006 -- It will be a little bit more laid back this weekend for Tony Raines and the No. 96 DLP HDTV Racing Team. Three weeks ago, Raines made...

TONY RAINES, DLP HDTV TEAM, SUBWAY FRESH 500K NOTES AND QUOTES

CORNELIUS, N.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2006 -- It will be a little bit more laid back this weekend for Tony Raines and the No. 96 DLP HDTV Racing Team.

Three weeks ago, Raines made his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start of the season at, of all places, the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, which because of its tight confines, probably wouldn't be on any driver's short list as a place to start one's season.

Then it was on to Texas Motor Speedway, which was a whirlwind of a weekend since it seems that nearly everything associated with Hall of Fame Racing and DLP has a Texas connection.

But now, Raines and the DLP team move to Phoenix, site of Saturday night's Subway Fresh 500k and a return to normalcy. It's not Raines' first start, his owners didn't win five Super Bowls playing in Phoenix, DLP isn't based there, and any rust on Raines has been knocked off.

The team took part in the NASCAR two-day test at Richmond (Va.) last week, and with the first two hectic races of the Raines era behind them, the DLP team heads off to the 1-mile Phoenix oval for round number eight on the Nextel Cup schedule.

TONY RAINES (No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevy):

Overall thoughts heading into Phoenix:

"We had a fairly good test at Richmond and some of that will apply to Phoenix. I like the racetrack. I've enjoyed racing there and we're just looking to improve our performances."

With all the excitement and attention focused on the DLP team at Texas, are you ready for a little less-hectic of a weekend?

"I'm glad we got through it. I wish we hadn't stumbled out of the gate a little bit. I think there were some nerves all the way around from the crew, driver, to everyone involved. It was a big weekend, for DLP and for everyone involved. All in all, we weren't far off target. Certainly we would've liked to have run better early in the race, but we got going in the middle and last part. We're looking forward to going back in the fall. I think we'll be a lot better armed."

What does it take to run well at Phoenix?

"It takes a good car and being smooth -- hitting you marks. You know, all the technical stuff."

How important is it to start up front there?

"I don't know if it's any more or less important than anywhere else. I'd like to do a little bit like we did at Martinsville -- qualifying strong, but then run a little bit better in the race. I think that'd be a good goal. I think if we could qualify top-15, that'd go a long way to helping us race top-15."

Thoughts on the Richmond test last week:

"I thought it was pretty good. The first day we weren't very good, but the second day we got considerably better. I feel it was a positive test. I think we found some things that will help us at a number of places, so I think it was worthwhile."

-hofr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Raines