Said set for oval Winston Cup Series debut FONTANA, Calif. (April 26, 1999) Irvan-Simo Racing co-owners Ernie Irvan and Mark Simo announced Monday that veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Boris Said will make his first official oval...
Said set for oval Winston Cup Series debut
FONTANA, Calif. (April 26, 1999) Irvan-Simo Racing co-owners Ernie Irvan and Mark Simo announced Monday that veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Boris Said will make his first official oval track start in a NASCAR Winston Cup car in Sunday's California 500 presented by NAPA driving the No. 14 Federated Auto Parts Ford Taurus.
Said has tested the Federated Auto Parts car at Texas Motor Speedway and at the 1.5-mile California Speedway in preparation for his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series start on an oval. Said, a road racing star, made his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut a year ago in the Frontier at The Glen in relief of driver Jimmy Spencer at the Watkins Glen International road course.
"I'm real excited," Said said recently. "We spent a few days in the Federated car at California a few weeks ago and it felt real comfortable. We learned a lot about the car and made some pretty decent gains. We've raced at California in the Federated Auto Parts truck, so it's not like we went into this deal totally blind.
"There is some difference between the Winston Cup car and the truck. It helped to have been here before. I was in a Cup car last year at Watkins Glen on the road course, but that was just to do some relief driving for Jimmy Spencer. This time it's the Federated Racing Team and my car. That makes a lot of difference. I'm ready to race right now. I can't wait."
Simo mirrored his driver's enthusiasm, saying. "I'm very pleased with the progress the Federated Auto Parts Racing Team has made this year stepping up to the Winston Cup level. We had a good outing at Texas and that gives us an idea of what we are capable of doing."
Randy LaJoie debuted the No. 14 Ford in the PRIMESTAR 500 at Texas Motor Speedway by qualifying a strong 14th. The car's engine failed in the race, relegating him to 40th at the finish.
"Even so, we are going into this race with realistic expectations," Simo said. "This is Boris' first start in a Cup car. We know this won't be easy. The whole Federated Racing Team has worked real hard. Everybody is putting in 110 percent. It is a little more special for us because being from California, we have a West Coast connection to Sears Point and California Speedway, so this will be like racing in our own back yard."
For the past two seasons, Said has served as Federated Racing's primary driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 47 starts, Said has recorded a victory, four top-5, seven top-10s and a Bud Pole at Heartland Park Topeka behind the wheel of the Federated Auto Parts Ford F-150. Said captured his first NCTS victory last October at the Sears Point Raceway road course.
Source: NASCAR Online