Boris Said waited a long time for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win and had to work overtime to finally get it at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, QC on Sunday. Boris Said. Photo by Eric Gilbert. Said took the lead from ...
Boris Said waited a long time for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win and had to work overtime to finally get it at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, QC on Sunday.
Said took the lead from Robby Gordon just after taking the final green flag but had to hold off a furious charge by Max Papis on the final lap to claim his first Nationwide Series win.
"It's unbelievable," Said stated in victory lane. "I've been trying for so long and this race is so tough. It was all about brakes and thanks to Performance Friction for giving me the best brakes."
Papis and Jacques Villeneuve battled for second and it looked like that would give Said enough breathing room to claim the checkered flag. But Papis came on strong in the final few turns and briefly got in front of Said. But Said took the lead again on the final turn and won a drag race down the straightaway to the checkered flag.
The margin of victory was just .012 seconds - or about five feet.
"We just really played it smart and saved our brakes until the end," Said said. "We had a good car at the end and that's what it took.
"(Papis) went in deep and I thought 'oh - alright, I'm second' but it was good racing - clean racing. Max is a good guy."
Papis officially led one lap and was as close as he's ever been to winning a NASCAR race.
"If we couldn't win - he deserved to win," Papis said. "I gave everything I had. It came down to the last corner and I did everything I could. I was there pushing - this is what I can do in a good car."
Villeneuve finished third on the track named after his legendary father.
"The car was running strong all day and the brakes lasted," Villeneuve "said It just wasn't as good at the end of the race as it was earlier.
Points leader Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Paul Menard rounded out the top five.
It was a tough day for race leaders at the 2.71 mile road course. Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards and Gordon were the only drivers to lead more than two laps in the race but all finished with disappointing results.
Ambrose started on the pole and paced the field for the first 20 laps and then worked his way back to the front of the field when he passed Carl Edwards for the lead on lap 36. Ambrose had to come into the pits with an electrical issue with 29 laps to go and fell off the lead lap.
A few laps into the next run, his car suffered a suspension failure that forced him out of the race.
"Well you can't say we didn't give it a shot," said Ambrose, who finished 33rd. "I had to turn all the fans off and everything - the engine got worse and worse and eventually it stopped running completely. Then we lost the left front suspension. It was a really good car. It's just a shame we couldn't close it off."
Edwards led a race-high 28 laps and looked like he had the car to beat in the closing laps but he came into the pits with a broken track bar with just nine laps to go and finished 20th.
Gordon started at the back of the field and was on a different pit strategy than the rest of the leaders but took the lead from Edwards under caution with nine laps to go. He stretched his fuel mileage throughout the second half of the race but ran out shortly after taking the final green flag and finished 14th.
A multi-car wreck on the restart with six laps to go was touched off when Gordon and Papis got together at the front of the field on the restart. Jason Leffler, Tayler Malsam and Brad Coleman were among the cars caught up in the wreck that caused damage to several cars and prompted ESPN commentator and racing legend Rusty Wallace to quip that "they better be happy that this is the last race in these old cars."