Boris Said Interview


BORIS SAID - NO. 44 - FEDERATED AUTO PARTS FORD F-150, CAME INTO THE NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES FULL TIME AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1997 SEASON. SAID, WHOSE SUCCESS IN ROAD RACING HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED, DECIDED HE WANTED TO TRY HIS HAND ON OVALS. BORIS IS THE DIRECTOR OF MOTORSPORTS AT NO FEAR, WORKING CLOSELY WITH OWNERS MARK AND BRIAN SIMO. MARK SIMO IS A PARTNER IN THE (ERNIE) IRVAN/SIMO NCTS TEAM WHERE SAID WAS NAMED THE DRIVER WHEN THE TEAM PARTED WAYS WITH BRYAN REFFNER FOLLOWING THE 1996 SEASON. NOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE TRUCKS FOR OVER A YEAR, HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR TIME IN THE SERIES SO FAR? "Last season went as expected. It was actually better than expected. I had some really strong runs that I didn't expect like at Texas (finished second) and Bristol (started second) and Loudon (finished fourth). I didn't expect that. I expected to win at the road courses and then we had (FAILURES) at all those so that was kind of a disappointment. Last year we had a lot of engine failures, and we knew it would be a learning year. This year has gone worse than expected. We're having so much bad luck that is just racing stuff, flat tires, alternators failing and getting into wrecks that you can't avoid that are just racing luck or the `deal' as the NASCAR guys call it. I want to try to turn my season around. Watkins Glen was a good race for us, finishing third, but we had an alternator fail there so that was disappointing. Texas was disappointing because we ran so good there last year, and we felt we had a really good truck for the race, and I got in one of those wrecks. That was my first real proper wreck in a stock (truck) and that was interesting. I guess you've got to get that stuff out of the way." INTERESTING? WHY WAS IT INTERESTING? "Any time you can wreck going that fast and walk away, it is just a different kind of experience. I've never hit anything that hard in my life, and to be able to get out and walk away is pretty amazing. I wouldn't want to do it again." HOW ARE YOU FEELING NOW? "I'm getting fine now. I was sore for a few races with a couple cracked ribs and a bruised lung. I'm a hundred percent now. It's not affecting how I drive or anything. It was making me walk around like an old man for a while." HAVE YOU DONE ANYTHING SPECIAL WITH YOUR SEAT? "At Bristol it was kind of tough because it was two weeks after, and there we put a little extra padding in, but once you have a rib injury there is nothing you can do to stop the pain. You can prevent maybe further injury if something else happened, but the pain is going to be there no matter what. But that is behind us, and I don't really think about it now. But so far this season I'm really disappointed. When I look at myself and how I'm performing I think personally I'm getting better, getting to be a better truck driver. I keep hoping my luck will turn around and we start converting some of my driving and the team work into finishing. We haven't been able to get the finishes, get the final results. At most of the races we've run, except maybe two or three, we've run really good in the race at some point. And then we've had some problem, a flat or part breaking or getting involved in a wreck." YOU RUN RACES OUTSIDE THE TRUCK SERIES. HOW MANY? "This year I'll probably run 44 or 45 races total. (The NCTS has a 27-race schedule.) I'll be running every single weekend through October right now, so that is pretty neat. I've been doing a lot of double weekends. When the trucks run on Saturday I'll go run something else on Sunday." DO YOU THINK THE RACES YOU RUN OUTSIDE THE TRUCK SERIES TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR CONCENTRATION THERE? "I love racing. What has gotten me to be a decent oval racer the past two years has been my road racing background. When you are always racing, your senses are sharp. I fight Ernie and Mark on that. They say with all the road racing I'm not committed to the oval racing stuff, blah, blah, blah. I think they are dead wrong. I think racing is racing. When you are racing with a pack of people it doesn't matter what you are racing. Of course it would be better if I was running 45 oval races, but I don't have the ability to do that right now."

WOULD THAT BE A CONSIDERATION OF YOU GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN, SAY ASA OR ARCA? "Yeah. If somebody called me to do an ASA race or an ARCA race or a sprint car race, I'd do it. I wouldn't have a problem not doing it. I love to race. Watkins Glen was our first weekend off all year, and somebody called me to do the Busch race, and I jumped right on it. I loved it. I learned something that I think will help me next year when we go back with the trucks. People that argue, `Oh you're not focused and you should only be racing the truck races,' I would strongly disagree." HAVE YOU RACED A SPRINT CAR BEFORE? "No, but I'd get in one if somebody offered. If somebody threw me the keys to any type of racing vehicle I'd get in. It doesn't matter. If we're not racing, we go go-karting. I eat, sleep, breath, live and love racing. That's all I want to do." HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE BALANCE OF THE SEASON? "I'm confident that we are a top-ten team. When we started last year I felt this was a top-five team with a top-thirty driver. Now I think it is a top-five team with a top-ten driver. I would like to get some consistent top-tens, and then hopefully at some of those races be in a position to be in the top-five. I want to win a race. I want to win at one of these road courses for sure." THERE ARE TWO RACES ON ROAD COURSES LEFT ON THE SCHEDULE. WHICH TRACK DO YOU LIKE BEST, TOPEKA OR SEARS POINT? "I like both of them. We were quick at both of them last year. We had a bolt break at one and an axle break at the other. So it was just one of those things. I think this year we've got a much better truck than we had last year. We designed it in-house and built it in-house so we have an advantage there. Hopefully we will get good finishes out of it." DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE OVAL TRACK? "Texas is my favorite track. I had my best finish there and my worst career crash there, but I love the speed. Texas and Bristol are my two favorite tracks. Bristol is the most intense race track I've ever been on any where in the world. I think it is a pretty neat place." WHAT ABOUT ROAD COURSES - ANY ROAD COURSE? "Overall? It would definitely be in Belgium, Spa which is like the neatest road course in the world. I don't think anybody would argue with me. It is just an unbelievable up and down, a lot of elevation. You're on some public roads. It's just a neat race course. Anything that scares you the whole time around is good." WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IN THE SPORT? "To win races. To always go to a track and feel that you can win races and have other people look at you and feel you are a threat to win. No matter what I do in oval racing or road racing. Oval racing is a lot harder for me right now because I don't have the experience that 50 percent of the field has. My ultimate goal is to learn faster than they learn so that I can catch up. Right now I'm focused on trucks. But anybody in any series wants to go to the pinnacle. Any guy in open wheel wants to go to the Indy 500. And any guy in any kind of stock car series whether it's ASA, late model or the trucks want to run the Daytona 500. When you go there, that is the race. I've always had lofty goals. A lofty goal would be to go to Winston Cup."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Boris Said