Said Wins In A Photo Finish In Montreal
Boris Said took the lead on a green-white-checkered restart, lost the lead briefly on the final lap, regained it on the final turn and held off two other top road racers to win Sunday’s Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Said ’s margin of victory over second place Max Papis was just inches as the two crossed the finish line door to door.
It was Said’s first victory in the series, which includes 22 starts but spans parts of nine seasons.
“I’ve been trying so long and this race is so tough,” Said, looking as much exhausted as happy, said. “It was good racing. It was clean racing.”
Right on the rear bumpers of Said and Papis was Jacques Villeneuve, a former Formula One World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner who was a hometown hero Sunday.
“I drove hard,” Villeneuve said. “But, it was always tough in the first corner there because everybody was going a little bit banzai. Max is a driver that is quite aggressive. You always end up banging wheels with him. I’ve raced against him since 1989 in Formula 3 in Italy. We’ve known each other for a long time. I really wanted to get in front of him because I knew that Boris Said was going to be a little bit easier to overtake. I saw in the race he was braking early. Just didn’t make it stick.”
Robby Gordon who was the leader on the green-white-checkered restart, ran out of fuel shortly after the green flag dropped.
“If the race doesn’t have caution at the end and a green-white-checker, we win,” Gordon said. “And, it’s easy to say if you did this you should have done that, but with what happened to us in qualifying and starting last, we made our bed this morning. When the race started this morning, we had a plan – and we lived and died by it. It’s unfortunate we ran out of fuel.”
Points leader Brad Keselowski was third.
The two guys who led the most laps succumbed to mechanical problems.
Carl Edwards, who led the most laps – 29 – broke a track bar with nine laps to go and while leading the race.
Marcos Ambrose, who led 25 laps, appeared to have the fastest car in the field but he had electrical system penalties and then suspension problems.
“You can’t say we didn’t give it a shot,” Ambrose, who was leading last year’s race at Montreal until he was passed by winner Carl Edwards on the final turn, said. “I’m trying to get to Victory Lane. I’m trying everything I can.”
The race featured seven cautions for 17 laps. It also featured a 13-minute red flag. It all combined to make for a race that took 3 hours and 23 minutes to complete.
“I love coming here,” Gordon said. “It’s a great town. Fun atmosphere race. Every time we come here we at least put ourselves in a position to win the race. Sometimes you beat yourself and sometimes you get beat. This time here maybe we beat ourselves because we shot for that lap number 74 number, and if that would have happened we were fine. How do you say it – if I go an eighth of a mile more, now we’ve taken the white flag, the caution comes out, we win. So many different scenarios.”No Comment