LONG BEACH, Calif. -- There was one thing missing from Boris Said's lengthy resume, and that was victory at Long Beach. Said rectified that situation Sunday by winning his first race at the storied temporary street course.
Said (No. 33 New Century Mortage/Hitachi Ford Mustang) passed Scott Pruett for the lead in turn eight on lap 47 and held on for the 4.296-second margin of victory in the 75-minute timed event. Johnny Miller (No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) finished second, ahead of Scott Pruett, who had led every lap to that point from the pole in his No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR. Paul Gentilozzi finished fourth after setting the fastest race lap, an event record 1:22.025 at 86.374 miles per hour. Rookie Jorge Diaz, Jr. completed the top five.
"Me and Scott were using our cars up a little too much at the beginning," said Said, who recorded his 12th Series victory. "I think I just had a little more Ford Mustang at the end."
Miller equaled his best effort at Long Beach. Miller last finished second at Long Beach in 1999.
"We had a pretty good race," said Miller. "I had a soft brake pedal early, so I just kept a pace. The car was really good at the end and I need to thank the crew for that."
Pruett lost second to Miller on lap 50. Pruett said he just abused the car too much.
"The race was too long," laughed Pruett, who recorded his 32nd podium finish in his Series 50th start. "Boris was driving me hard all race long, but I stepped over the edge with the tires. BFGoodrich makes a great tire, but we just pushed it a little too hard."
With the victory, Said cut into Pruett's lead in the 2003 championship. Pruett now leads the points battle with 66 points.
The race ran in 75 minutes, 31.6 seconds at an average speed of 79.752 mph. The race was slowed by one caution for four laps.
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