(CNN) – Rick Santorum said he had a few words of advice for veteran NASCAR driver Tony Raines, who's driving a car sponsored by Santorum's campaign in the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday.
"When you're starting way back in the pack, just hang back there for a while," Santorum said, joking about his own recent surge in the Republican presidential race. "Let all the other cars in front of you wreck. And then run hard in the last few laps and win the race."
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He made his comments Sunday to a laughing audience at a campaign stop in Marquette, Michigan.
For the race, Raines is driving Front Row Motorsports' No. 26 Ford Fusion – a car Santorum said he is "very excited about."
The campaign's logo is featured on the car's hood and quarter panels for the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the 2.5-mile speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
"We're glad to partner with the Santorum campaign," Team Owner Bob Jenkins said in a statement. "We know there will be millions of eyes on these cars on Sunday and we know we can help get their message out."
While Santorum himself will not be at the race, he said he intended to watch it. His chief GOP rival Mitt Romney made a speedway stop earlier in the day on Sunday.
The race comes two days before both candidates face off in Michigan, which serves as the manufacturing hub for much of the country's auto industry.
- CNN's Tom Cohen and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.