This Week in Ford Racing October 12, 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series When talking with Boris Said, it very quickly becomes evident that he's driven just about every type of racecar or truck imaginable. Take this upcoming weekend for ...
This Week in Ford Racing October 12, 1999
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
When talking with Boris Said, it very quickly becomes evident that he's driven just about every type of racecar or truck imaginable. Take this upcoming weekend for instance. Said will drive the #55 Icehouse Beer Ford F-150 owned by longtime friend, Tom Gloy in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Immediately following the race, he'll travel to Sebring International Speedway, to drive his Federated Racing Team co-owner's Ford SVT Mustang Cobra in the Trans-Am season finale on Sunday. Then on Monday and Tuesday of next week, he'll test the Federated Racing Team's Winston Cup Ford Taurus at Homestead Motorsports Complex in preparation for the upcoming Winston Cup race there on November 14.
As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) goes from the slowest track on the circuit (Louisville) to the fastest track (Texas), the talented sports-car driver turned oval track racer discusses his busy schedule and his affection for going fast at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Boris Said -- 55 -- Icehouse Beer Ford F-150 -- YOU'VE GOT A VERY BUSY SCHEDULE COMING UP. "Yeah, but that's how I like it. Right after the truck race on Friday night, I'm going to take a Lear Jet over to Sebring (Florida) to run one of Tom's (Gloy) old Trans Am cars to try and help Brian (Simo) win the championship (SCCA Trans-Am Series). I'll miss practice and qualifying there, but I'll get to do the warm-up. I'll start the race in last place, but we'll see if I can come up through the field and put some space between (Paul) Gentilozzi and Brian. Right from there, I go to Homestead (Florida) and test for two days in our Winston Cup car. It will be a good four or five days."
HOW DID YOUR RIDE IN THE #55 ICEHOUSE FORD FOR THE TEXAS RACE COME TOGETHER? "Tom (Gloy) and I have always been good friends. We play a lot of golf together here in California and while we were playing recently, Tom asked if I would be interested in racing in a truck race. I said 'sure, no problem', because as you know we're only doing a very limited schedule this year. So it was kind of a friendly thing. I finished second there in 1997 and last year we had a good run going but I got caught up in Mike Bliss' wreck and that hurt. It was a big crash for me. I broke a couple of ribs. I really love to race at Texas though."
WILL YOU RUN THE NCTS SEASON FINALE AT FONTANA IN THE #55 TRUCK TOO? "Tom (Gloy) did ask me about that but no I'll be back in the Federated Racing Ford for Fontana. Fontana was a race that Ernie (Irvan) was going to do and now that he's retired, I'll be driving that weekend. Tom is still looking for a driver for his truck."
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU GOING TO THE FASTEST TRACK ON THE NCTS CIRCUIT? "The first year that I ran full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, that was my best finish up to that time (second at Texas in 1997). Texas is definitely one of my favorite tracks, probably because it is so fast. I'm used to going fast with all the road racing stuff that I do so I seem to do better on the faster tracks than the little short tracks.
TAKE US FOR A LAP AROUND TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "Texas is a pretty basic oval. If you're running alone, you run the bottom on both ends. But you don't use any brakes at all if the truck is running and handling right and you barely lift off the gas in turns 3 and 4. You have a quick little lift too in turns 1 and 2 and you're right back into the power. It's the closest thing that we have as far as running wide open all the way around. In qualifying, you might be able to do it. Once you're up to speed, you don't shift at all. You just run it in high gear and the RPM only varies about 500 or so the whole way around. The trucks run different in the draft though. You might have to feather or touch the brakes a little bit if you're getting sucked up onto somebody. But for the most part, you don't ever touch the brake pedal. I really like it because it keeps you on your toes the whole time. You're really hauling off into turn 1. In the old days there, the banking was real abrupt so the truck was really loose going into turn 1. Now they've fixed that problem and have done a great job. It is so smooth getting in there. This year in March, I was there doing a two-day test in a Winston Cup car. Driving a Cup car at Texas is so much different because you have to use the brakes. It's so much better aerodynamically. You're going another 15 -20 MPH down the straightaways so I use the brakes at both ends. I don't know if the good guys do or not but Ernie (Irvan) told me that he used his brakes, so I figured that I might as well use them too."
OF ALL THE RACING SERIES THAT YOU'VE COMPETED IN, WHICH IS THE TOUGHEST AND MOST CHALLENGING? "Last season, I would have said that it was the truck series for sure. But this year after doing some Winston Cup races, I think that Cup is even harder because there is even more depth in that series than there is in the truck series. But by far, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is harder than any other road racing series that I've competed in. It's so competitive. I think that the drivers in the truck series drive a lot harder than the Cup guys do. For instance when we ran the road race last year at Watkins Glen in the Winston Cup car when I subbed for Jimmy Spencer and had to come from the back, it was a lot easier going through the field there than going through the field in a truck race. The truck guys will fight you to the death for every inch of real estate where the Cup guys are a little more relaxed. If you're faster, the Cup guys will give you the room and let you go by. But with the truck guys it takes a ton more effort to get by them and that's what makes the truck series so much more fun."