Boris Said set for first 2008 Cup start

Boris Said, driver of the No. 60 Slurpee/No Fear Energy Ford Fusion, will start 14th in today’s Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. This will be Said’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race of 2008. He has four career top-10 finishes in his last five Cup starts at the 1.99-mile road course.

BORIS SAID – No. 60 Slurpee/No Fear Energy Ford Fusion – THIS ISN’T A FULL-TIME TEAM, SCHEDULED TO RUN EIGHT RACES THIS YEAR. WHAT’S ITS STATUS RIGHT NOW? HAS THE ECONOMY HAD MUCH OF AN EFFECT? “It hasn’t really affected us, the economy. We have a sponsor, Pepsi, for eight races, and we’re looking constantly more sponsors to run a full team. Our goal is to be a full-time team. I won’t be happy until we’re doing that, whether I’m the driver of somebody else is the driver. But, I feel like the team we’ve put together, how competitive we are, every time we show up at the track, we’re better than a lot of full-time teams. We have four full-time employees, that’s it. We’ve got a relationship with Roush Fenway and Ford – I think we have the makings to be a really good full-time team.”

WHAT DO STRONG PERFORMANCES, SUCH AS YESTERDAY’S QUALIFYING EFFORT, MEAN AS YOU CONTINUE TO GROW THIS TEAM? “Hopefully, you do such a good job for your sponsor, that they’ll say, ‘Wow, we’re getting so much value that we need to do more.’ That’s what, ultimately, you’re trying to do. Not only is the racing important, but it’s important that you’re a salesman and help your sponsor see some return on their investment.”

WHAT ARE THE NEXT FEW RACES ON THIS TEAM’S SCHEDULE? “I’m looking at going back to Daytona and try relive the magic we had there two years ago when we qualified on the pole and finished fourth. That was my 10 minutes of fame, so to speak, because no one ever expected it on an oval. I think we’ve got a great car, it’s just that the way the rules are right now, this top 35, just qualifying is really, really, hard. Even here, with the road racers, to see a guy like Dario Franchitti go home – it’s just a tough business right now, getting in the show. So, that’s our biggest problem.”

AFTER QUALIFYING YESTERDAY, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU HAD HELPED TEACH KASEY KAHNE, WHO WON THE POLE. YOU’VE HELPED THE WOOD BROTHERS AND OTHERS, TOO, OVER THE YEARS. JUST HOW MANY DRIVERS OUT HERE HAVE YOU HELPED AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER? “Eighteen in this field – that I’ve worked with at point or another. TNT asked me to look on the list and cross them off, and there were 18 of them.”

WHEN YOU HELP A DRIVER WITH ROAD-COURSE RACING, DO YOU CONCENTRATE ON SOMETHING SPECIFIC, OR IS IT MORE OF A GENERAL APPROACH? “You show them the difference between oval racing and road-course racing, it’s a different braking technique, and, really, they’re not used to going so slow into a corner. So, just show them some basic stuff. In my opinion, these guys are the best drivers in the world. They have a lot of car control, so if you show them a few things, it’s like showing a duck water – they know how to swim.”

SO, IF YOU FEEL THESE ARE THE BEST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD, FOR THEM TO ASK YOU FOR HELP SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BE QUITE FLATTERING. “Yeah, I guess it’s flattering, for sure. It’s a double-edged sword, because a lot of guys you’ve helped now beat you, But for me, I think long term – when I go to the ovals I’ve gotten so much help from guys like Dale Jr. and just a whole list of guys that help me, and that’s shortened my learning curve.”

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