Santorum sponsors car at Daytona 500, hopes for metaphorical victory

Published February 26, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Rick Santorum has some advice for Tony Raines, the NASCAR driver behind the wheel of the car Santorum is sponsoring in Sunday's Daytona 500: take great advantage of the late pole position. 

"I talked to him about a strategy. I recommended he stay back in the pack, you know, hang back there until the right time, and then bolt to the front when it really counts. So let's watch. I'm hoping that for the first, you know, maybe 300, 400 miles, he's sitting way, way back, letting all the other folks crash and burn, and then sneak up at the end and win this thing," Santorum told ABC's "This Week."

Santorum is sponsoring the Front Row Motorsports' No. 26 Ford Fusion after Raines qualified late in the field last Sunday in what the Santorum campaign called "the feel-good, underdog story of the day." Raines is in row 21 of 22 in Sunday's race.

"I like how Tony Raines turned some heads last weekend with his qualifying run and we'd like to keep turning heads too. I think we're both looking for a win in the end," Santorum said.

In a release sent out by the Santorum campaign, team owner Bob Jenkins said millions of eyes will be on the cars and it's a good way to get Santorum's message out. 

"It's a pretty tight battle for the Republican nomination right now, and the former senator is right in the thick of it. We hope we're in the thick of it come Sunday out on the racetrack, too," Jenkins said.

Santorum's campaign message will be on the hood and quarter panels of Raines' car but he's probably hoping for better success than Raines' last outing -- Raines placed 38th in August's Pure Michigan 400. With Michigan's primary vote on Tuesday, Santorum may also want this race to get going -- heavy rains delayed the green flag on Sunday.

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