Roadracing's Said grabs Sears Point pole

SONOMA, Calif. - Road course specialist Boris Said grabbed the Bud Pole for Sunday's Dodge/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway Sears Point in California's wine country. Said, the 2002 Trans-Am Series champion, also set a track record running a lap of...

SONOMA, Calif. - Road course specialist Boris Said grabbed the Bud Pole for Sunday's Dodge/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway Sears Point in California's wine country. Said, the 2002 Trans-Am Series champion, also set a track record running a lap of 93.620 mph. The previous record was set last year by defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart (93.476 mph).

"Never would I have thought in my wildest dreams I'd win one of these poles," Said commented. "After high-fiving every member of his crew and hugging several of them. "The (Cup) regulars usually come up big at the end."

Sunday will mark Said's eighth start in the Winston Cup series. This is Said's first pole in the series; he is driving the MB2 Pontiac for the injured Jerry Nadeau.

It's the kick-off to a busy weekend of racing for Said. He will also compete in the Southwest Tour stock car event and the Trans-Am series race.

"I'm going to qualify my Southwest Tour car now and then practice in my Trans-Am car," Said commented. "It's all downhill from here."

Robby Gordon puts the No. 31 Chevy on the outside pole, in his best start this season.

"We came here today to get on the pole and we let it slip away," said Gordon.

He kidded that he wished the road course moles wouldn't be allowed to race in NASCAR's premium division.

"I think they shouldn't be here because I'd have been on the pole by five- tenths (of a second) if they weren't," Gordon joked. "Actually, both of them are really good race drivers and they should be able to come here and race with us."

Ron Fellows driving the No. 1 DEI Chevy for Jeff Green starts third. Sunday is Fellows ninth Winston Cup start, the 2002 American Le Mans Series GTS champion best finish in the series is a second at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Rolling off fourth is points leader Matt Kenseth; it is his best start at Infineon Raceway.

"I guess. That's the fastest lap we ran through testing and everything else we've done, so I'm a little bit surprised we ran that quick," said Kenseth. "It was just a solid, smooth good lap, so I was pretty proud of the guys, what they did with the car. We weren't the greatest here in the test, we actually went home a built a brand-new car, the one we brought back here hasn't seen the race track before today, so they did a real good job."

Kurt Busch in the No. 97 Roush Ford lines up fifth, after a morning crash in practice.

"The guys did superb job getting that car put back together," said Busch. "It's tough that I took us out of contention for a pole today. That's a team effort though. I got to swallow that pride, and the guys got a real good car underneath me, I just needed one more run with it, and we spent the time in the garage trying to fix the wreck instead of moving forward."

Six road course experts were brought in to run this weekend's road course, including Trans-Am series point leader Johnny Miller in the No. 4 Morgan- McClure Pontiac, PJ Jones driving the No. 14 of Larry Foyt, and Speedvision CART analyst Scott Pruett piloting a fourth Ganassi entry.

Of the experts failing to qualify were PJ Jones and Paul Menard. Winston West series' Jim Inglebright and Brandon Ash also did not make the field.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., second in series rankings, takes the green flag from the 11th spot.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Boris Said , Jeff Green , Robby Gordon , Jerry Nadeau , Kurt Busch , Ron Fellows , Scott Pruett , Larry Foyt , Johnny Miller , Paul Menard , Jim Inglebright , Brandon Ash