The Frontstretch: Driver Review: Boris Said by Kim DeHaven -- Thursday January 3, 2008

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Driver Review: Boris Said

Kim DeHaven · Thursday January 3, 2008

 

Boris Said
2007 Ride: No. 60 No Fear Racing Ford (limited schedule)
No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford (Watkins Glen – August)
No. 98 Gillett – Evernham Motorsports Dodge (Loudon – Sept.)

2007 Primary Sponsor: SoBe No Fear Energy Drink (No. 60)
Little Debbies (No. 21)
Valvoline (No. 98)

2007 Owner: Mark Simo (No. 60)
Wood Brothers (No. 21)
Ray Evernham (No. 98)

2007 Crew Chief: Frankie Stoddard (No. 60)
Michael “Fatback” McSwain (No. 21)
Randy Seals (No. 98)

Stats : 5 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 1 Top 10, 51st in points.
Best Finish : 8th – Infineon, June.

High Point: We are accustomed to seeing Boris Said excel on the road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, so it comes as no surprise to see a Top 10 finish in his season stats. However, no one expected such a solid performance from Said in the Daytona 500. Said qualified the No. 60 SoBe No Fear Energy Drink Ford sixth overall, and started the biggest race of the year in the 23rd position following a solid performance in his Gatorade Duel. After taking the green flag, Said quickly fell to the rear of the restrictor plate drafting pack – but it turned out to be to his advantage. Avoiding all the wrecks and carnage, Said was able to bring it home 14th, completing all 202 laps and taking in a cool $265,375 in the process.

Low Point: Said posted just one finish of 30th or worse this season in, what some surmise, should have been his best opportunity for a good finish while driving for the multi-car powerhouse of Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. In a one-off deal driving a fourth car for the team – the No. 98 Dodge – Said initially failed to make the starting field for the Sylvania 300 at Loudon. However, he was awarded the 43rd position after the No. 49 Dodge, driven by John Andretti, was tossed from the lineup for failing post-qualifying inspection. Given a second chance, Said avoided trouble all day long during the race, but he never could get the car up to speed – he finished eight laps down in 40th.

Summary: Finding success in part-time or one-off rides is difficult at best, but Boris Said has made a career out of it – and this season was no exception. Said attempted to qualify for eight Nextel Cup events in 2007, making five of those while driving for three different teams and two manufacturers. In the process, Said posted one Top 10 finish, even leading a lap at Talladega this Spring during the Aaron’s 499. Perhaps most impressive was with an independently-owned, underdog program, Said was also able to qualify for three races in his No. 60 Ford – a near-impossible accomplishment for a part-time team in today’s multi-million dollar stock car climate. In all, the average finish for Said was 21st, quite the stat for a NASCAR journeyman.

Pressed into service to drive the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford after a DNQ with his own car at Watkins Glen, Said didn’t disappoint. He took the car from the rear of the field to 14th by the end of the 90-lap event – one of the single-car team’s best finishes this year.

Quote of the Year : “NASCAR's got to do something about the rules. It's terribly unfair that the top Ford in tenth place goes home. An independent has no chance and for the tenth place car to go home is completely insane.” – Boris Said after failing to qualify for the UAW-Ford 500 due to being outside the Top 35 in car owner points_

2008 Outlook: Boris Said will return with his small-time No. 60 team in 2008, running a six-race schedule that includes the restrictor plate races at Daytona and Talladega, as well as the road courses of Sears Point and Watkins Glen. He’ll continue to be sponsored by SoBe No Fear Energy Drink for those events, hoping against hope the team will one day achieve enough backing for full-time status in what is now the Sprint Cup Series.

No matter what goes on with the No. 60, though, one thing is certain – he will continue to be tapped by struggling teams to assist their road course preparation, perhaps leading to additional opportunities on oval tracks.

2006 Frontstretch.com Grade: N/A.
2007 Grade: B.

Editor's Note : The 2007 season is over, and even the Final Chase exam has come to a close - which means it's time to give each driver their annual year-end evaluation. For the second straight year, your favorite Frontstretch staff members are giving driver reviews for every full-time wheelman on the circuit, giving you insight into the seasons of anyone from A.J. Allmendinger to J.J. Yeley. Want to know when your favorite driver's getting featured? Check out this link for our writing schedule, and be sure to keep coming in every weekday this offseason for even more original content by the Frontstretch!

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