Raines Ready to Run at Las Vegas

Raines ready to race big boys at Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (Feb. 26, 1998) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Tony Raines and owner Kurt Roehrig place their bets this weekend on the 1.5-mile oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the inaugural...

Raines ready to race big boys at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Feb. 26, 1998) -- NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Tony Raines and owner Kurt Roehrig place their bets this weekend on the 1.5-mile oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the inaugural Las Vegas 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event.

This will be the team's first attempt to enter a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event. Yellow Freight System, Inc., based in Overland Park, Kan., supports the team with primary sponsorship of the new car, in addition to its associate sponsorship of the Roehrig Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team.

Raines is thrilled with the chance he's been given to drive a limited NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule of five races this season.

"I consider it a golden opportunity that I plan to capitalize on," Raines said. "Going Cup racing was a mutual goal of Kurt's and mine. Now, we get the chance to enter five races, learn as much as we can, and build an even stronger package for 1999. It's also a great way for the sponsor to get acclimated to the sport as well."

Last week, the No. 19 Yellow Freight team participated in a test session held at Las Vegas. What was to be a two-day session was shortened to less than one due to the rain showers caused by the "El Nino" weather phenomenon.

"We had planned to come home with so much information from that session," Raines said. "The track was obviously pretty green by the time we got on it, so the little information we do bring back may not be very accurate. It means we're forced to place a lot of emphasis on Thursday's practice. I expect to be out on the track quite a bit in that four-hour practice session."

The No. 19 Yellow Freight Ford team will bring a Thunderbird to Las Vegas this weekend as opposed to a Taurus, due to time constraints.

"Development of the Taurus race car body by Ford Motor Company and all Ford teams, coupled with the large number of cars to be built for the 1998 season has slowed the body-building process to the point where going to Las Vegas with a Taurus was not possible," Roehrig said. "We'll definitely have the Taurus ready for our next event at California Speedway, and based on its performance so far, we're obviously pretty excited to get the chance to try it out."

Just making the race in their first attempt is the main goal for the No. 19 Yellow Freight team.

"You'll see one elated team if we make the race this weekend," said crew chief Mike Bodick. "We want to get Tony focused, and give him as much seat-time as possible. We know this is a growing process and it takes time. But, at the end of the day, it would be nice if our competitors had to stop and take note to remember who we are."

Since No. 19 is owned by NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner Mark Smith, whose team also runs only a limited schedule, NASCAR has allowed Roehrig to run the No. 19 at Las Vegas.

Courtesy of NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Roehrig