Boris Said, whose opportunity to race his No. 60 No Fear Energy Ford Fusion this weekend was lost when Friday's qualifying session was rained out, will drive the No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion instead, replacing Bill Elliott. It was Elliott's...
Boris Said, whose opportunity to race his No. 60 No Fear Energy Ford Fusion this weekend was lost when Friday's qualifying session was rained out, will drive the No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion instead, replacing Bill Elliott. It was Elliott's idea to put Said, a noted road racer, in the car this weekend.
LEN WOOD -- co-owner, No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion
"Bill Elliott came up a little while ago, and I guess he had run into Boris across the garage, and he asked him what he was doing, and Boris said, 'Nothing,' you know, he had missed the race. I don't know from where it started, if Bill asked him to drive our car or what. I think that's the way it went because Bill came to me and said that in the best interests of the team, let's put Boris in. He said I'll give it my best effort, and Bill's an excellent road racer, the first place he ever won was at Riverside, but he suggested putting Boris in. We first cleared it with sponsors and then went to NASCAR and cleared it with them."
IT WAS BILL'S IDEA? "It was Bill's idea. I was standing right there and he comes over and goes, 'Come here a second.' He came up with it. Like he said, 'I'll leave it up to y'all, but I'll do the best I can, but I think is the best for the team to try to get back in the top 35."
DID YOU HAVE TO CHANGE SEATS OR PEDALS AT ALL? "Bill's kind of tall. I think there's only a couple of inches difference, although Boris looks towering, I guess, but he had already been in the car, I think while I was in the NASCAR trailer he was already in the car."
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BORIS? HAD YOU EVER WORKED WITH HIM BEFORE? "We didn't know Boris at all and made a blind phone call to him -- I think it was the first year we had Elliott Sadler, which would be 1999 -- and we asked Boris to go help test with Elliott at Sonoma. Like I say, without knowing each other, he did anything we asked, he bent over backwards for us, and when we got done we asked him how much we owed, and he said, basically, pay me what you think I was worth. And we've remained friends ever since. Eddie [Wood] called him a couple of years ago, might've been last year, when we were talking about going to Mexico for the first time, and we wanted him to get some seat time with Jon [Wood] and we had a car of Jack Roush's that had two seats in it -- and this was January or February -- Boris flew out here, red-eye, drove up from Greensboro, tested that day and basically flew back to Mexico to go race. It was a deal like that. He doesn't want to be known as a teacher, he wants to be known as a race driver, but he's excellent at both I think."
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion
"I thought a little bit about it last night -- I didn't know what Boris had going on, but when I came in this morning, I just happened to run into him at the gate and I said, 'What are you doing tomorrow?' And he said he wasn't doing anything. So, the wheels started turning. I think I do okay road racing, I mean, I'm not the world's greatest, but the problem that I have is I haven't road-raced since Sonoma. And this team is so close to where they need to be, and Bill Elliott doesn't need the points, so why should my selfishness take away from this race team, if -- I feel like with Boris, having come off fresh from racing last week and as much as he's road-raced, I feel he can do better than I could? And that's the reason I did what I did."
YOU KEPT MENTIONING "TEAM," WHICH SHOWS THAT THIS IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL SPORT, BUT A TEAM SPORT. "It is. And that's what I told Len. When I went to talk to him, I said, 'Look, I feel like this is better for this team. I think I can do okay, but there's no guarantees. There's no guarantees what he's going to do, but just given the odds of what he could do versus what I could do, I feel like he's the better choice of the two.' I said, 'Now, when we go to Michigan, that'll be a little different deal.' He ran good at Sonoma in these things, and it's just unfortunate that the way weather got us yesterday. I mean, I've got mixed emotions about it. I really want to drive. I enjoy driving. What Len and Eddie and this team needs is the best shot they can absolutely get, and I feel this is it. So, we put it together and here we are, and we'll make the best of it. That's the way I feel."
-credit: ford racing