Boris Said never wants to forgo an opportunity to race at Watkins Glen International.
“It's one of my favourite tracks, almost like a second home to me,” Said explained.
Said recruited RAB Racing to get into Saturday's Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at the Glen by using his highly regarded road-racing skills as a driver and coach.
“I know Robby Benton (RAB co-owner and general manager), and he mentioned that they didn't know what they were going to do at Watkins Glen,” Said said. “I started calling and bugging him. I worked real hard to get a deal. I hate to stand around watching a race I could be in.”
John Wes Townley is RAB's regular driver, but he has extremely limited road-racing experience.
“I didn't know John Wes Townley was so young (19) and he hasn't raced much on road courses,” Said said. “I worked out a deal to coach him, and I'd like to help RAB get into the top 30 in owner points. I also wanted to get into a Ford.”
RAB is 34th in Nationwide owner points, outside the top 30 that are guaranteed starting positions by NASCAR. The team is 334 points out of 30th, and Said hopes to take a chunk out of that deficit in the 82-lap race on the 2.45-mile road course. His first order of business will be to qualify on speed Saturday morning.
It will be Said's first Nationwide race of the year and his first with RAB. It also is the team's debut at Watkins Glen.
Said should be able to cut down the team's learning curve with the #09 Ford with his considerable experience at Watkins Glen. He grew up in Stamford, Conn., and has raced at Watkins Glen many times in different series and types of cars including six times in Nationwide. Said won the pole for his first Nationwide start at Watkins Glen in 1998 and has qualified in the top ten five times. His best finish at the track is fourth in 2001. He also has eight Sprint Cup and two Camping World Truck Series starts at the Glen.
“I've had some good runs at Watkins Glen, and I'd really like to get a win,” Said said. “We need to get into the race, run in the top five and be there at the end and then go for the win. I think the equipment is second to none, really good stuff, and has good people on it. (Crew chief) Brad Parrott has a lot of experience, and I feel really comfortable working with him.”
Said tested the RAB Ford at Road Atlanta in July.
“It was mostly to see if I fit, and they've made some modifications to make it more comfortable for me,” Said explained. “But ran some laps, too, and it was really good.”
Said has 18 career Nationwide starts. Watkins Glen would be the ideal place to get his first win in the series.
“I'd like to check it off my to-do list and win a Nationwide race,” Said said. “The competition is pretty tough, but that's the ultimate goal.”
by Tim Tuttle and Bill Marx/Sporting News