Sears Point: Boris Said preview

"I love being on the edge, getting a little scared and having my hair stand up."     Boris Said Boris Said is Pumped and Primed For Nascar's First Road Race of Season SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2004) - Road-racing ...

"I love being on the edge, getting a little scared and having my hair stand up."
    Boris Said

Boris Said is Pumped and Primed For Nascar's First Road Race of Season

SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2004) - Road-racing specialist Boris Said, who will be driving the No. 36 Team CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports in this weekend's NASCAR event at the Infineon Raceway road course, says competing in a Nextel Cup race continues to bring out a special excitement.

"This is what I wait for and this is what I would love to do full time," explained Said, a national and international acclaimed sports car racer. "Each time I get to drive in a Cup race, it's like a little kid having another Christmas."

CENTRIX Financial, a Denver based financial management and services firm, is the Official Auto Finance Company of NASCAR. The company announced in April that it will sponsor Said this season in a third MB2 Motorsports Nextel Cup entry at Sonoma and also at an oval race that is yet to be determined.

MB2 Motorsports fields the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek and the No. 10 Valvoline Chevy, driven by Scott Riggs.

Said, 41, has competed in nine NASCAR Cup point events with his best performance coming at last year's competition at Infineon Raceway when he captured the pole and finished sixth in the 110-lap race while driving for MB2.

The pole win - Said's first in the NASCAR Cup series - earned him an invitation in this year's prestigious Bud Shootout, a non-points race, contested in February at Daytona International Speedway. It was his first Cup event on a superspeedway and he performed solidly with a 10th-place finish.

"Winning the pole at Infineon ranks as one of my biggest accomplishments in racing," offered Said. "Because of what happened last year I am cautiously optimistic about this weekend. I don't want to say we'll win the race, but I strongly feel the Team CENTRIX Financial Chevy will be a force."

Said, who won a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Infineon in 1998, likes the challenge of the twisting 1.99-mile road circuit.

"Infineon is a technical road course that is both physically and mentally demanding," explained Said. "Infineon doesn't have any long straightaways where you can take a mental breather for a second or two. It's a draining race, but I like the challenge of it. It's a great place to compete at."

One thing that Said has learned over the years as a Cup racer is patience, but he candidly admits that he still struggles to restrain himself from being an overly aggressive driver.

"I am constantly fighting not to revert back to my old ways when I drove every lap as if it were my last," commented Said, who resides in Carlsbad, Calif. "I understand that having patience is the right thing to do, but it's hard at times because I love being on the edge, getting a little scared and having my hair stand up.

"But the great racers have patience and they are always there at the end of the race. Look at Jeff Gordon - every time the pay window is about to open he seems to be right there in line at the end of the race. He certainly sets the standard."

The three people who have had a major influence in Said learning patience during a Cup race are former NASCAR great Ernie Irvan, MB2 crew chief Ryan Pemberton and MB2 team spotter Roman Pemberton.

"Those three guys have taught me a lot about picking your passes, racing the track and figuring out what you need in order to have your car running at its best at the end of the race," noted Said. "Ernie keeps on telling me that patience is the hardest thing to learn and the easiest to forget."

Overseeing Said's Team CENTRIX Financial team at Infineon Raceway will be Ryan Pemberton, who has worked with Said in his last seven NASCAR races. Donnie Richeson, a former Cup crew chief and currently a crew chief for Schrader Racing, will be calling the strategy from the team's pit box during the race.

Along with driving in the Nextel Cup event this weekend, Said will also compete in Saturday's NASCAR Southwest Tour Series race for Schrader Racing and in Sunday's SCCA Trans-Am event, which follows the Cup race.

Said, who has a storied career as a sports car racer, is coming off two impressive international performances at the famed 15-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife road circuit in Germany. As a BMW Motorsports team driver, he became the first American to win the German 4-hour GT Endurance race and the first American to claim a podium finish (second) in the 24-hour German GT Endurance event.

"Those two performances rank right up there with my NASCAR accomplishments," explained Said, who is among an elite group of drivers to have claimed poles in NASCAR's three racing divisions - Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck.

On the domestic scene, Said has won four of five races in this year's Grand American Road Racing Series. He drives for BMW North America/Prototype Technology Group.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Boris Said , Scott Riggs