Boris Said has just two words to share with his fans, dubbed ‘Said heads’ in honor of the curly wigs they wear to mimic their driver’s mane. “I’m back,” Said said to his fans. “And I hope you didn’t forget me.”
[media-credit name=”Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images” align=”alignright” width=”217″][/media-credit]After being absent since August of last year, Said will be taking over for young up-and-coming driver Landon Cassill in the No. 51 Security Benefit/Thank A Teacher Today Chevrolet. Said will be proudly representing one of his favorite people, James Finch, and his team Phoenix Racing on the road course in Sonoma.
Cassill who had his career best finish in the 12th position last weekend in the Irish hills of Michigan, will return to the helm of his race car the following weekend at Daytona.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” Said said. “Landon is not a road course guy and they’re not running for points so they decided to put me in.”
“I’m in a Hendrick car owned by James Finch,” Said continued. “I ran for him in Mexico City in the Nationwide Series and had a blast with him.”
“I haven’t been in a car since last August so I’m chomping at the bit to get in and drive one.”
Although off the NASCAR Cup circuit for some time, Said has been keeping busy in other areas of racing. He also has entered a whole new phase of his life, with a ‘real job’ as he terms it, as well as a new partner to boot.
“The biggest thing I’ve been doing is the Grand Am Rolex Series,” Said said. “My other big thing is that I was awarded a BMW franchise, the first one in ten years that BMW has awarded.”
“We’ve been open two weeks and one day,” Said continued. “And my partner is Rick Hendrick, so that’s really exciting working with him.”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be a partner with Rick Hendrick,” Said advised. “So, I’ve been working a real job which has been pretty fun.”
“I guess they’ll let me out of the dealership for the race,” Said said.
What has Said missed most about being behind the wheel? Simply the roar of the engines according to this road course racer, as well as the thrill of the competition.
“It’s a blast feeling the horsepower,” Said shared. “It’s a blast racing with those guys.”
“They are a bunch of animals and it’s so much fun,” Said continued. “I’ve always wished I could do it full-time but I’ve always cherished every race I get to do.”
“I can’t wait to go out and start driving.”
Said has been keeping up with the action on the track throughout the time that he has been away. And he realizes that at Sonoma, there will be plenty of action, especially with the double file restarts.
“Especially at Infineon, I don’t think there’s a more exciting track to have those double file restarts,” Said advised. “The first couple of times that I did it, I had to be cautious and I just got run over. So, there’s no other way but to be aggressive.”
“I always hear that ‘you only run one race and you shouldn’t mess with the regulars, blah, blah blah’,” Said continued. “But the fact is that James Finch is a regular and he pays me to do a job. I want to be as aggressive as I can no matter who I’m racing with.”
While Said knows that the competition will be fierce, he is hoping that the final outcome will not be decided on fuel mileage, as so many races have recently.
“I hope it doesn’t come down to fuel mileage,” Said said. “That’s not my style. But I would take it any way I could.”
“I’ve been there and I’ve been the fastest car and then have had really bad luck,” Said continued. “It just takes so much to get a good finish in one of those races, whether it’s pit stops or knowing when to pit or not to pit, or getting involved with somebody. There’s so much that can go wrong.”
Said is most grateful that he will not have to qualify in on time. Finch’s Phoenix Racing car is firmly locked into the show.
“The last time we had that opportunity, I was in the Army car and I sat on the pole,” Said advised. “To not have that pressure feels so good.”
Does Said see himself as that ‘road course ringer’?
“You know I don’t like that term,” Said shared. “But I think it’s good because at least people are talking about us.”
“The thing is that no part-time guy has ever won a Cup race,” Said continued. “But it’s still possible. Is it likely? No. It’s a long shot but it’s a long shot for lots of guys.”
“I’m hoping that I can be competitive and I’m going to try my hardest to be competitive,” Said advised. “We’ve always run in the top-10 there and when that happens, you never know.”
“You can always get lucky,” Said continued. “And I hope I can put on a good show.”