Boris Said had a legitimate chance to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, something he didn't think was possible even after grabbing the pole for the event.
Said joked during his post qualifying press conference that a 15th place finish would be a win for the fledgling team, to his surprise he gets to take home a fourth place result.
"A blast," Said explained of his night. "It's fun when you see daylight. That's what you live for when you are racing. I just can't believe it - a top five at Daytona. I am psyched."
Said and his makeshift No. 60 No Fear Sobe Ford team have just seven full time shop employees but with the help of Jack Roush this team clearly has the equipment to compete. Said convinced Roush to allow him to purchase a used race car and what he got was the Yates powered Roush Ford that Greg Biffle drove in the 2005 Budweiser Shootout.
Much like qualifying Said managed to be the highest finishing of the Roush- Yates bunch at Daytona somewhat proving that if you give a driver the right equipment they can shine.
"This is like a win," he continued. "It's the biggest thing I've ever accomplished in racing."
Said started the day on the pole but the No. 20 Chevy of Tony Stewart quickly passed for the lead and dominated much of the event. But a late race caution saw Stewart and most of the other leader's pit. Said's crew chief, Frankie Stoddard, made a gutsy call to stay out which put the No. 60 Ford in the lead at lap 149.
Surprisingly, he managed to keep the competition at bay until a caution fell on lap 155 for the night's only multi-car crash. On the restart at lap 158, Stewart finally managed to take the top spot. A final lap caution ended the race under yellow.
In the final shuffle, Said wound up fourth but for this team it may be the finish that allows them to gain extra sponsor money and run more races than they had originally planned this season.
For Said, it is the shot in the arm he needed to prove to himself that he belongs in NASCAR Nextel Cup racing.
"No, I didn't," Said explained when he asked if he thought pre-race if this result was possible. "It was really good in the draft and I really took my time and was learning and trying to gain some respect. On old tires we were really fast, so Frankie (Stoddard) made a great call to stay out at the end and we were just as fast on old tires. That's one fast Ford Fusion, No Fear energy drink, it's just great."
Said is winless in 23 career Cup series starts, this is his second career top five finish. The new team, which made their debut last week in Sonoma, plans on running Indianapolis and Watkins-Glen in August.
Before this race they did not know how many more races they would be able to compete in due to budgetary reasons. The paycheck from their top five should bankroll a few more stops on the NASCAR tour this season.