INSIDE SAID'S HEAD With the season's second and final road-course race coming up Sunday at Watkins Glen International, we've called upon road-racing ace Boris Said. He's done it all on race tracks that turn right as well as left, from the high-...
INSIDE SAID'S HEAD
With the season's second and final road-course race coming up Sunday at Watkins Glen International, we've called upon road-racing ace Boris Said. He's done it all on race tracks that turn right as well as left, from the high- speed western New York circuit simply called the Glen to the 100-turn (yes, 100) course in Nurburg, Germany.
Said is sliding into the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota for a weekend, replacing Reed Sorenson. Here's what's inside Said's head:
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING: "When I visited the Red Bull shop for the first time, the initial impression of the team was impressive. (Crew chief) Jimmy Elledge and everyone else there has taken care of me from the start. I'm very excited to get in the car and see how it feels."
BIG DEAL: Said won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in 2005, becoming the first American to do so. The track's 15.5 miles long with 100-some turns. Can you say endurance?
RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: "Race tracks are like girls. They are all different. I like them all, but all have different personalities. Watkins Glen has a very unique personality for a race track. It is just a little different."
AT THE BOX OFFICE: Said ranks "Grand Prix," the 1966 movie starring James Garner, slightly ahead of "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." As if you didn't know, Will Ferrell played Ricky Bobby.
I'LL HAVE THE STEAK: "All the tracks I go to I relate to food and where I can go to eat. Gimme a rib eye steak."
FIT IS IT: "I mostly mountain bike. I live in the mountains, and most every day try to ride up and back on the mountain near my house."
WOULD YOU TAKE TEAM ORDERS? "It has happened to me plenty of times where I have had to let my teammate by. That is part of racing. A team is a team, and as a driver, you are a small piece of the puzzle. I don't think there is anything wrong with team orders."
HE AIMS HIGH: "My initial goal for the race - to run top 10 most of the race and drive into the top five during those last few laps and put myself in the position to win. My ultimate goal is to get the best finish possible for the team."
HE'LL BE IN MAKEUP: "I never realized how much work goes into a TV show. It took me a while to get used to having makeup sprayed on my face. I like TV, but I would much rather race, though." (Said is a television analyst for ESPN's NASCAR coverage.)
TRICK OF THE TRADE: "The real key at Watkins Glen is minimizing your mistakes - not making an unscheduled pit stop with a flat, not spinning off the road into one of the gravel tracks, avoiding contact and being fast. Everything has to work to win one of these races."
NO PULLING PUNCHES: "I've always lived my life saying it like I see it. Some people like it, some don't - but I don't think I can change now."
IF CUP HAD ANOTHER ROAD COURSE...: "Road America. I thought that track was great. It's just a fantastic road course. There are a lot of places to pass."
RIDING AND RADIO: "I'd take SIRIUS/XM channel 128 or a 70s rock station. Those are both on my pre-set buttons. I go between those and Fox News."
SAID ON THE HEADS: "At first, it used to creep me out a bit. I would look at Jeff Gordon and those guys and they would have all girls cheering for them. And I had a bunch of 30-year-old guys wearing wigs and cheering my name. But then I thought about it, and if I wasn't racing, I would probably be doing the same thing. They just like to have a good time, and I'm all for that. It is very flattering."