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2007 Driver Review: Boris Said

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 Debbie (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: Five races, zero wins, zero top fives, one top 10, 51st in points.
Best Finish: Eighth – Infineon, June

High Point: We are accustomed to seeing 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 strong 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 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.

Quote of the Year: “NASCAR’s got to do something about the rules. It’s terribly unfair that the top Ford in 10th place goes home. An independent has no chance and for the 10th-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: 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 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 AJ Allmendinger to JJ Yeley. Be sure to keep coming in every weekday this offseason for even more original content on Frontstretch!

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