Fontana II: Boris Said preview

After Career-Best Finish, Boris Said Excited About Return to Nextel Cup Action FONTANA, Calif. (Aug. 30, 2005) -- "I'm having a blast and it keeps on getting better," commented Boris Said about his role of being a part-time racer in the...

After Career-Best Finish, Boris Said Excited About Return to Nextel Cup Action

FONTANA, Calif. (Aug. 30, 2005) -- "I'm having a blast and it keeps on getting better," commented Boris Said about his role of being a part-time racer in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Said, who has qualified in seven of the eight Nextel Cup races he entered this season for MB/Sutton Motorsports, will be back in action for the Sony HD 500 weekend at California Speedway. Said is coming off a career-best Cup finish of third -- at the Aug. 14 road race in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

"I am very thankful about this opportunity, but I have really missed being part of the action since Watkins Glen," offered Said, driver of the No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet. "I want to be in there, mixing it up with the best drivers in the world. That's why I am so excited about getting back with the guys and having some fun this weekend at California Speedway."

Said, a renowned road racer, admits that he is feeling more comfortable competing on the oval tracks.

"Outside of Lowe's Motor Speedway (in Charlotte), we've qualified at all of the events," noted Said, who resides in Carlsbad, Calif. "I am feeling more at ease on the ovals. Frankie (crew chief Frank Stoddard) has been a big help along with my teammates Joe Nemechek and Scott Riggs."

Said's first objective when going to a Nextel Cup race is to qualify since he is not among the top 35 drivers in points, who are automatically seeded in the 43-car field.

"Qualifying is first and foremost," offered Said, who qualified for last year's Labor Day weekend race at California Speedway. "Once we can achieve that initial goal, the next objective for California is to finish the race in the top 20. That won't be easy, but it's possible even though there are more than 20 world-class drivers competing in the Nextel Cup Series. I really feel the CENTRIX Financial team can do it. I am backed by a quality crew chief, a quality crew and have Hendrick horsepower under the hood of my CENTRIX Financial Chevy."

If Said can attain his finishing goal in California, it will be a career-best result on an oval for him. Entering California, his best finish in a points race on an oval was 27th -- he did it twice -- at this year's Daytona 500 in February and at Texas Motor Speedway in April.

"Until this year, I only competed in three oval point races in the Cup series," explained Said. "Racing is all about experience and I am getting there. I have now raced in nine oval races in total -- that's not a lot, but I feel we have the resources to set a realistic goal of finishing in the top 20 this weekend."

At last year's race in California, Said started 36th and finished 30th.

"We need to beat that finishing result," mentioned Said. "Last year, I just wanted to finish the race with all of the fenders on the car. We did that. I want to do the same this weekend, but have a finishing position of at least 10 spots better."

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Boris Said , Joe Nemechek , Scott Riggs