Daytona Shootout: Boris Said race report

Said impressive in superspeedway debut. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2004) -- It was mission accomplished for Boris Said, who called Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout the biggest challenge of his racing career. Said, driving in his...

Said impressive in superspeedway debut.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2004) -- It was mission accomplished for Boris Said, who called Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout the biggest challenge of his racing career.

Said, driving in his first superspeedway NASCAR Cup race, posted an impressive 10th-place finish in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway.

"I had a blast," commented Said in post-race interviews. "I felt like I belonged out there and it was a dream of a lifetime."

Said, known for his road-racing exploits, earned his way into the Shootout when he qualified on the pole while driving the Army car at last year's NASCAR race in Sonoma, Calif.

After starting eighth in the 19-car field, Said settled in and drove a savvy race against NASCAR's top-tier drivers.

"I was conservative until the last few laps," explained Said, "I continued to learn as the race went on and started to feel real comfortable. I would love to do this again -- restrictor-plate style of racing is awesome."

Erine Irvan, who coached Said for his superspeedway Cup debut, said he was proud of his pupil's performance.

"I was very impressed with the way Boris drove," said Irvan, the former NASCAR standout and Daytona 500 winner. "This (restrictor-plate racing) was totally new to him. He did everything we talked about -- he stayed patient, picked his spots and hung in there. This kind of racing is a lot harder than anyone would ever imagine."

Said, who ran as high as seventh in the 70-lap race for 2003 pole winners and former Shootout champions, was quick to give credit to the Army of One team.

"I had a great racecar to work with," offered Said. "Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton) and the crew were a tremendous support group. They knew how much this meant to me and I am both happy and relieved that I did not let them down."

Dale Jarrett won the event, edging Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 0.157 seconds.

-mb2/mbv-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Dale Jarrett , Boris Said