Boris Said took his first victory for the 2003 season at the track where until today wins had eluded him. The ACS Ford Mustang driver was elated to get his 12th career win on the Streets of Long Beach.
The BFGoodrich® Tires Cup Trans-Am Series was the final race of the weekend at the Long Beach GP. Polesitter Scott Pruett led the field to the green waved by the 2003 Chief Starter, Jim Ohanesian and kept the lead for the majority of the race.
On lap 41 of the scheduled 51 lap race, the 'competition yellow' was shown allowing the field to tighten up for the remaining laps. Prior to the yellow, Said had gained on Pruett and was in the midst of setting up Pruett to slip by him for the lead.
"I picked my spot," stated Said. "And it worked out. Scott [Pruett] was getting loose as the race wore on."
When the green flag waved again, Said gave it all he could including a slight kiss of the wall on the right side of his Ford Mustang. Said made the move in the 5-6-7 complex in what was an perfectly executed inside pass going into turn 8.
"I mean this is great," Said commented about the win. "But the race is one thing, I think of the men and women overseas, our military and what they are doing for us. My crew, these guys are great, the car was perfect."
Pruett's Jaguar was loose and Johnny Miller was able to overtake his teammate for the second spot. The two went side-by-side down the back stretch on the next to the last lap. Miller got the edge on Pruett in turn nine.
"I think we had something for Boris [Said], but had to get by Scotty [Pruett] first," Miller commented. "This was a good race."
Miller finished third at the season opener St. Petersburg race and the Rocketsports Racing driver is aiming for the championship, the two podium finishes put him in good stead.
Rocketsports Racing's Pruett returned this year after an eight-year absence. The two-time Trans-Am champion has enjoyed his return but admitted the changes to the series has given him homework.
"I was running pretty hard today," the former champ Pruett said. "I was losing the tire grip at the end and the car got loose. The lack of experience on this tire compound is different, I got a little homework to do."
Pruett finished on the podium in third. His boss and teammate, Paul Gentilozzi took the fourth spot after starting the race in 16th position, giving his Rocketsports Racing team second, third and fourth. Gentilozzi had the move of the race when he overtook Michael Lewis for the fourth spot, faking to the outside, looking inside, faking back outside, and making the inside pass very cleanly.
Lewis was up in the top five for most of the race, until he locked up his brakes and slid the Jaguar into the runoff area at the end of the back stretch.
Max Lagod had to park his Camaro when the water pump quit working due to a broken belt that also took out the power steering and cooked the engine. "That's the way it goes," said the disappointed Lagod.
Drissi lost his power steering due to a collision with rookie Bobby Sak's Corvette. The Revolution Motosports' Sak carried too much speed going into turn one and turned into Drissi's Jaguar.