Sonoma: Jasper Motorsports preview

Dave Blaney-- ...

Dave Blaney--#77 Jasper Motorsports Ford Taurus
Boris Said--#67 Jasper Motorsports Ford Taurus

* DAVE BLANEY and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team enter the Dodge/Save-Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway ranked 17th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings, 84 points behind 15th-place Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and seven points ahead of 18th-place Kyle Petty after 15 races in 2001; BLANEY has three top-15 finishes in his last six starts (9th-CAL, 10th-POC, 13th-MICH) and has led four of the last six races.

* BLANEY has only five career road-course starts in any discipline (4-WC, 1-BG), after moving to NASCAR prior to the 1998 season following a stellar sprint-car career; in 2001 at Sears Point, BLANEY started 17th (78.115 secs.) and finished 32nd, one lap down to race-winner Tony Stewart. In his only other Sears Point start in 2000, BLANEY started 43rd and finished 29th. In his first-ever road-course race, BLANEY started and finished eighth in the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen.

BLANEY on SEARS POINT: "I probably feel better about this weekend's race than any of the times I've gone to a road course since I've been here in stock cars. We had a great team at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) several weeks ago, and with Boris (Said) and his car there, I was able to learn so much about braking and turning through the telemetry and lap times from both cars.

"I started a square-one with stock cars when I came from dirt racing. Road course racing was even more foreign to me, but I've had fun doing it from the start. You've got to always be willing and wanting to improve and keep an open mind about it all. The right attitude helps as much as anything going into a road race.

"With Boris running the #77 Jasper Ford last year at both road courses, he will be able to help me a lot with the ratios and transmission combinations when we get to the track. He's been around there so much that he knows what gears work best at which parts of the track and the little things I wouldn't even know what to look for. It will pick me up a bunch, I'm sure.

* BORIS SAID competes in his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of 2002 in the #67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford at Sears Point; in 2001, Said drove the #77 Jasper Ford in both Winston Cup road races, finishing 11th at Sears Point and eighth at Watkins Glen. SAID started 42nd at Sears Point after an slipping off-course during his qualifying run (79.947), but improved more positions in the race than any other driver enroute to his 11th-place finish.

* SAID won the 1998 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Sears Point, starting from the outside pole after finishing 20th from his third-place start in the CTS race at Sears Point in 1997; SAID's other road-course starts in CTS were at Watkins Glen in 1997 (started 32nd; finished 11th) and 1998 (started 3rd; finished 3rd).

* The Dodge/Save-Mart 350 at Sears Point is the first of at least three NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts SAID will make for Jasper Motorsports in 2002, including the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (August 4) and the Sirius Satellite Radio race at Watkins Glen (August 11).

* SAID, the current Trans-Am points leader with two wins (Mosport, Lime Rock) in three starts in 2002 in a Panoz Esperante, will make his sixth career NASCAR Winston Cup start at Sears Point this weekend; in 1998 at Watkins Glen, SAID qualified the #23 Ford (for Jimmy Spencer) fifth and finished 20th in his inaugural WC race; in 1999 at The Glen, SAID qualified the #14 Federated Auto Parts entry on the outside pole beside pole-winner Rusty Wallace, but finished 42nd after dropping out with engine failure on Lap 48; In his first WC start at Sears Point (2000), SAID started 23rd but finished 42nd with engine failure on Lap 26; engine failure also doomed SAID's first Busch Series start in 1998 at Watkins Glen, where he started on the pole but finished 40th after dropping out on Lap 26.

* The 39-year old SAID, who is Director of Motorsports for No Fear, started his racing career in motorcross in 1975 and was the SCCA Corvette Challenge Rookie-of-the-Year in 1988. He progressed through the SCCA and Trans-Am ranks in the 1990's to become one of America's premier road racers; he finished first in GT1 and third in GTS in the 1997 Rolex 24-Hour race at Daytona and is the twice-defending champion of the GT class in the American Le Mans Series with the BMW Motorsports Team; SAID also raced in two 24-hour events at Le Mans, winning the GT2 pole in 1994 and finishing second in 1995.

BORIS SAID ON SEARS POINT: "These Winston Cup Series races are like Christmas to me. They only come once or twice a year. I'm like a little kid. I've been waiting all year to get back into one of these cars and I'm ready. Last year, I had my two best Winston Cup finishes in the #77 Jasper Ford and I believe we can improve on that this year at both Sears Point and Watkins Glen."

#67 JASPER FORD OWNER/CREW CHIEF MARK HARRAH ON SEARS POINT:"Boris is regarded as one of the best drivers in road-course racing and he had two great finishes in our #77 Jasper Ford last year. We believe he's now capable of winning a Winston Cup race. We tested both he and Dave (Blaney) at Virginia International Raceway in May, and the two of them worked really well together. As teammates, they can share their individual strengths at the track--Boris as a road-course expert and Dave as our regular driver in the Winston Cup Series."

**NOTE: MARK HARRAH, one of the Jasper Motorsports owners, will serve as crew chief for the #67 Jasper Motorsports Ford for Boris Said this weekend at Sears Point. HARRAH is one-for-one as a crew chief already in 2002, winning the ARCA Series race with Jeff Fultz, a full-time Jasper team member, at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC last month. HARRAH also served as crew chief for the #77 Jasper team for the final 14 races of the 1999 season for then-driver Robert Pressley, prior to the arrival of Ryan Pemberton for the start of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. As crew chief, HARRAH had a best-start of 12th (Bristol) and a best-finish of 24th (Charlotte).

**BLANEY RACING EVERYWHERE IN OFF-WEEK----.As he did when he criss-crossed the country each summer as a World of Outlaws regular in the 1990's, DAVE BLANEY will take no time off from racing during his off-week from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next weekend, racing dirt modifieds next Thursday night (Lebanon Valley, NY against Tony Stewart) and Saturday night (Columbus, OH Motor Speedway) and on Sunday in Toronto with five other NASCAR regulars including Stewart.

-jm-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty , Boris Said , Jimmy Spencer , Robert Pressley , Jeff Fultz , Dave Blaney