- September 18, 1962
- United States
- Imsa Sportscar Championship
- SunEnergy1 Racing
Boris Said is an American racing driver who competed in many different motorsport disciplines around the world since he started to race in 1988. He is most known as a regular 'road course ringer' in the NASCAR Cup Series because of 51 NASCAR Cup Series races he participated in. Between 1999 and 2015, he competed 33 times at two road courses – Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen.
One of the most versatile American racers
Said also competed in other two NASCAR national series, and hewon one race in each of those two competitions. Except in the stock car racing, he was successful in many other American series, winning the titles in Trans-Am and Grand-Am Rolex Series, but also taking the victories at two legendary 24-hour races – at Daytona (two times) and Nürburgring. And it isn't all, because Boris Said also drove V8 Supercars, Stadium Super Trucks, rally cars etc., becoming probably the most versatile American racing driver.
Son of a racing driver and Olympian
Boris Said was born on September 18th, 1962, in New York City. His father Bob Said was also a racing driver and US Olympic bobsled driver, so Boris inherited racing genes from his father.
Boris started his racing career in the 1988 SCCA National Championship. He was the rookie of the year and finished 18th in the annual national championship runoffs. In 1989, he won the runoffs for the first time, driving Chevrolet Camaro. Said repeated runoffs victories in 1990 and 1991. In 1991, Boris debuted at Daytona 24-hour race in the M/J Engineering's Oldsmobile Cutlass to finish 25th.
Only Le Mans participation in 1994
After a few years in various competition, Said entered the Trans-Am series in 1994, finishing 14th in points. The season of 1994 would be remembered mostly because of his first and only participation at 24 hours of Le Mans. Said joined Frank Jelinski and Michel Maisonneuve in the Callaway's Corvette. They took the pole in the GT2 class but retired from the race after 142 laps.
NASCAR Truck Series debut in 1995
In 1995, Said continued to compete in the Trans-Am Series, driving Ford Mustang for Tom Gloy Racing and finishing sixth in points. At the end of the season, he debuted in the NASCAR Truck Series, driving #4 Ford for Irvan-Simo Racing at Sonoma Raceway.
In 1996, he participated in three NASCAR Truck races, but his main focus was still in the Trans-Am Series and other IMSA and SCCA series. All these years, he was a regular entrant at Daytona 24-hour race, but without notable results.
First Daytona 24-hour class victory in 1997
In February 1997, Boris Said finally scored his first victory at Daytona. He was driving the BMW M3 of Prototype Technology Group alongside four more drivers and they finished 9th overall and first in the GTS-3 class. He competed in the BMW M3 for the rest of the season but also entered the full NASCAR season for the first time. Said was driving the #44 Ford in the 1997 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and his best result in 26 races was second place at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 16th in points.
First NASCAR victory in the Truck Series race at Sonoma
In 1998, Said repeated the full season participation in the Truck Series and he drove the #44 Ford to his first NASCAR victory at Sears Points Raceway in Sonoma. His second best result was third place at Watkins Glen and he finished 21st in points. It was Said's last full season in NASCAR; later in his career, he competed only in a part-time schedule or as a road course ringer.
One more win at Daytona 24-hour race
In February 1998, Boris Said took his second consecutive victory in the GTS-3 class of the Daytona 24-hour race. He was again driving the BMW M3 of Prototype Technology Group, alongside Bill Auberlen, Marc Duez and Peter Cunningham.
After he debuted in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1998, Said was finally ready to enter the premium NASCAR league in 1999. After he failed to qualify at three events, Said finally debuted in the Winston Cup at Watkins Glen. He became a specialist for road courses and competed only at Sonoma and Watkins Glen in the next four seasons. In 2004, Said expanded his NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule to two more races at ovals, at Auto Club Speedway and Homestead-Miami.
Surprising pole position at Daytona
The biggest number of races in one season Said had in 2005, when he participated in nine Cup Series races and failed to qualify three times. He was driving the #36 Chevrolet of MB Sutton Motorsports, reaching his best ever Cup race finish at Watkins Glen. He took the third place.
In the next ten seasons, between 2006 and 2015, as a road course ringer, Said regularly competed at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, but his second best result in the career wasn't achieved at road course but on the Daytona International Speedway's oval.
Said finished fourth in the 2006 Pepsi 400 race which he started from pole position! After he surprised everybody with his first pole at an oval, Said made a promise that he would shave his head if he won. He finished fourth and saved his bushy afro-look.
First and only NASCAR Nationwide Series win in Montreal
In the NASCAR Busch/Nationwide/Xfinity Series, Said competed at maximum five races in one season between 2005 and 2015. In 2010, he claimed his first and only Nationwide Series victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. He was driving the #09 Ford for RAB Racing. In the season 2015, he participated in five races with Joe Gibbs Racing's #54 Toyota, taking fourth place at Watkins Glen.
Video : Boris Said's first win in NASCAR Nationwide Series
Trans-Am and Grand-Am champion
During all those NASCAR years, Boris Said also traveled around America and all over the world to compete with totally different cars in totally different competitions. In 2002, he won the Trans-Am Series with eight victories in 12 races, driving Panoz Esperante.
The next championship title came in 2004, when Boris Said was the best in the GT class of the Grand American Rolex Series. Driving the BMW M3 of Prototype Technology Group, he won five of 12 races to take the championship title together with Bill Auberlen.
The first American to win 24 hours of Nürburgring
In 2005, he became the first American to win the legendary 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. A year before, he finished second overall, so at the 2005 edition, he put even more efforts into his driving and conquered the Green Hell. His teammates in the Schnitzer Motorsport's BMW M3 GTR were Andy Priaulx, Pedro Lamy and Duncan Huisman.
Australian adventure in the V8 Supercars
The next adventure was Said's travel to Australia in 2008. He participated for the first time in the V8 Supercars races. As a preparation for the legendary Bathurst 1000 race, he competed at Phillip Island, sharing the #67 Paul Morris Motorsport's Holden Commodore with British driver Matt Neal. At Phillip Island they finished 19th, while they retired after 140 laps at Bathurst.
Said returned to Australia in 2011 to compete in another V8 Supercars endurance race, the Gold Coast 600 at the Surfers Paradise. His co-driver in the Paul Morris Motorsport's Holden was Steve Owen and they finished 7th in the second race. The third visit to Australia followed in 2012. The Paul Morris Motorsport switched to Ford Falcon and Said was sharing the car with Steve Owen again. They finished 18th in the second race.
Five full seasons in the sports car racing
Between 2010 and 2013, Boris Said competed full seasons in the GT class of the Grand American Rolex Series, driving for Turner Motorsport (2010 and 2012) and Marsh Racing (2011 and 2013). In 2014, he stayed with Marsh Racing when the United Sports Car Championship was formed. They entered the championship with Corvette DP prototype.
What's the next challenge?
Another type of Corvette, the C7 GT3 version, is Said's car in the 2016 season of the ADAC GT Masters. He joined Callaway Competition in the German GT series but also competed in the Stevenson Motorsports' Audi R8 LMS at 24 hours of Daytona.
In 2015, Said participated in the X Games, competing in the Off Road Truck category. It was his second participation in the X Games, after his maiden appearance in 2007 with Subaru Impreza rally car. He proved again that versatility is his main characteristic and that he can race in any kind of race car.
Which racing adventure is next in the career of the fastest and most popular white dude with an afro, nobody knows. One is for sure, wherever Boris Said appears, a good show is guaranteed.