Daytona 500: Boris Said Media Day interview

BORIS SAID -- No. 60 No Fear Ford Fusion IN TESTING YOU FELT LIKE THERE WERE ONLY SIX SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR THE 500. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT QUALIFYING THIS WEEKEND? "I feel like the New York Giants. When they won that game I called my crew chief...

BORIS SAID -- No. 60 No Fear Ford Fusion

IN TESTING YOU FELT LIKE THERE WERE ONLY SIX SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR THE 500. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT QUALIFYING THIS WEEKEND? "I feel like the New York Giants. When they won that game I called my crew chief Frank Stoddard, who is a diehard Patriots fan. After he hung up on me twice, I go, 'Hey Frank, this is good for us.' He's like, 'Why?' And I said, 'Because maybe it's the year of the underdogs.' I mean, right now with the speed the Toyotas showed in preseason testing, I feel like we're a big underdog. We're the only Ford that has to make the race on time, so, hopefully, we can pull off an upset and get in."

IS IT A BENEFIT THAT YOU HAVE TO LIKELY RACE IN DURING THE DUELS AS OPPOSED TO A REGULAR QUALIFYING FORMAT? "I think so. Last year our Ford Fusion was so fast that we got in on time and then we raced our way in. It would be a lot easier week if you know you could be one of the top three of the 'go or go-home guys' come Sunday and then racing in would just be a bonus."

YOU WERE SITTING ON THE POLE HERE IN JULY UNTIL RAIN CAME AND WASHED OUT THE SESSION. CAN YOU DO THAT AGAIN THIS WEEKEND? "With the speed of the Toyotas I don't think a Ford can be on the pole this year, but it sure would be nice to duplicate that. Last year was one of my biggest days and saddest days all in the timeframe of about 10 minutes. I experienced the full highs and lows of racing in a 15-minute span."

IS ADAPTING TO CHANGE THE BEST SKILL A DRIVER CAN HAVE? "Yes, for sure. I always equate it like business, you need to learn faster than your competition and that's what Hendrick did last year. They jumped on the COT car and they dominated the sport. I think now over the winter a lot of teams have probably caught up a lot. For sure Roush Fenway has, so you've got to keep adapting and learning. Like the Marines say, 'Adapt and Overcome.'"

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR THIS YEAR IN TERMS OF RACES? "Right now with No Fear Racing we have funding for five Sprint Cup races and then we're gonna do the three Nationwide road races out of our shop now. We haven't even announced that yet, but we're gonna do that now. And then I'm gonna actually do some pretty cool races. I'm gonna go to Australia and do a couple of V8 Australian Super Car races, which I'm pretty excited about, and I'll probably go back to Europe and do the 24 Hours in Nurburgring again."

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS RACE THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO DRIVERS? "For me, there are all kinds of tracks that you go to around the world that it's just a race track, but when you come here there's some excitement and electricity. It's the World Center of Speed. When I first started watching racing on TV, I remember watching Dale Earnhardt in that black 3 dominate all of the qualifying races and then always fall short of winning. I remember just thinking, 'Man, that guy, he's just a badass. This is the coolest thing in the world.' That's when I started watching this race and really any kind of racing."

HOW OLD WERE YOU?  "I
was 24 years old when I watched my first race on TV.  I started pretty
late.  I never had a real interest in that."

NOW GUYS ARE CONSIDERED OLD WHEN THEY HIT 24 IN RACING. "I've been teaching some of these young kids that are 17-18 years old like Chase Austin last year. The guy was still in high school and I'm like, 'You know, I didn't even see a car race until I was 24 years old and now you're 17 and you've got a great ride.' It's amazing. These young kids amaze me at how good they are. Colin Braun is a kid I've kind of mentored along and kind of helped him at Roush. He was 17 years old and signed a long-term deal with Roush Racing. The kid is so good at 18 years old and it's just amazing."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DRIVE IN A RACE LIKE THE 500? "It's completely insane. The first time I drove in Cup I got a pole in the U.S. Army car at Sears Point and as soon as I got the pole I'm like, 'I'm in the Bud Shootout. I'm gonna get to race at Daytona.' And then I came here and I practiced in the draft and thought, 'It's not so bad.' Then as soon as the race started it was the scariest thing in the world. I felt like, 'I am gonna wreck. There's no way I can do this.' For the first 20 laps I was scared to death. It was the most out of control, crazy feeling I've ever had and then something happened between lap 20 and lap 30 where I'm like, 'Man, this is the most fun I've ever had,' and I learned to like it and I don't even know what happened. But it's a different kind of environment. If there was a Star Trek transporter that you could just teleport a civilian into a passenger seat of one of these cars, they'd probably have a heart attack. It's completely insane going that fast, sliding around and bumping. Even in the Daytona 500 last year, for the first 480 miles it was a pretty calm race. But for some reason, with 20 or 30 miles to go it's like they gave every dog a hand grenade and pulled the pin out and it just turns into craziness. It's a riot. It's a lot of fun."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Boris Said , Colin Braun