Daytona 500: Boris Said qualifying report

SAID QUALIFIES FOR FIRST DAYTONA 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Boris Said accomplished his first Speedweeks goal and it was the sweet one -- he qualified for the Daytona 500 in his initial attempt for NASCAR's most prestigious ...

SAID QUALIFIES FOR FIRST DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Boris Said accomplished his first Speedweeks goal and it was the sweet one -- he qualified for the Daytona 500 in his initial attempt for NASCAR's most prestigious race.

Said, driving the No. 36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet for MB/Sutton Motorsports, was the 11th fastest qualifier in Sunday's Pole Day at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 187.122 miles per hour on the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Under NASCAR's new qualifying criteria, Said's performance assured him a spot in Sunday's Daytona 500 -- no matter where he finishes in Thursday's qualifying race.

"I am so excited that I'm going to drive in the Daytona 500," explained Said, a renowned road racer. "I've watched this race every year and now I am going to be part of it. It is really a dream come true.

"What happened today is the first of three goals that I set for myself coming into Speedweeks. The first was to qualify for the 500. The second is to finish the race -- and if we can do that -- the third goal is to be in the top 20 when the checkered flag comes out."

Before Said lines up for the Daytona 500, he will compete in Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150, which will determine the starting order for the 500. Said will start fifth in the second qualifier, right behind MB2 teammates Joe Nemechek (third) and Scott Riggs (fourth).

Nemechek and Riggs also had a good showing in Sunday's qualifying -- Nemechek was fifth fastest and Riggs was sixth.

"CENTRIX has given me a great opportunity to come out here and compete in the greatest race in the world," commented Said in post-race interviews. "I can't thank Rick Hendrick enough -- those Hendrick motors are unbelievable. The guys back at the shop -- they are the best. I've got a great team and a great crew chief (Frank Stoddard). Joe Nemechek and Scott Riggs have helped me out a lot. It's a team effort -- I'm just a small piece of it. We're having a blast."

FX will televise Thursday's qualifying races, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

-mb/s-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Boris Said , Joe Nemechek , Scott Riggs