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Racin’ News: Boris Is Back

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Tuesday, June 21 2011

Boris Said will drive for Phoenix Racing on Sunday. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images)

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In Racin’ news today, Tuesday, June 21st:

(In this package: Said has ride for Infineon; Tony Ave to drive Front Row car.)

Boris Said will be back in a Cup car at Infineon this weekend, it was announced Tuesday.

Said will drive the Security Benefit/Thank A Teacher Today Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing. It will mark the Carlsbad, Cali. road racing ace’s first Sprint Cup Series event with Phoenix.

Said has 11 Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.99 mile road course. He has one pole (2003) and five top-10s.  He’s recorded a best finish of sixth-place on two occasions (2003, 2004).

In addition to Sprint Cup Series competition, Said has competed in one Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event, three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) events and four K&N Pro Series West events at Infineon Raceway. Said’s first win in one of NASCAR’s top-three series came at Infineon Raceway in 1998 driving for Mark Simo in NCWTS competition.

Said has made two Nationwide Series starts in Phoenix Racing entries, which came in 2005. He scored a fifth-place finish at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City driving the James Finch-owned car.

Phoenix Racing has three Sprint Cup Series starts at Infineon Raceway. Their best finish of 12th-place came last season with Jan Maqnussen behind the wheel.

Landon Cassill, who drove to his career-best Sprint Cup Series finish (12th-place) last week at Michigan International Speedway, will return as driver of the Thank A Teacher Today Chevrolet next week at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve known James [Finch] for a long time,” Said said. “He’s one of the most fun guys in racing and puts great equipment on the track. I really like the guy. To be able to go run a Cup race with him, I feel like I hit the lottery.

“I race at Infineon and Watkins Glen every year. That’s just my two races. I haven’t been in a car since Watkins Glen last year, so I’m just amped up and ready to go. I got a lot of friends coming. It’s always one of the most exciting races of the year in NASCAR. There’s lots of passing, lots of action. I can’t wait to get back on the track. I want to thank Security Benefit for giving me the opportunity to go out and race.”

“There are only 43 people that get to go Cup racing each weekend. For me to get this opportunity, especially being more of a road racer, it’s a real honor. I’m looking forward to it and cherish the chance to get in one of the cars. We’ll go out and do our best. Hopefully our performance will give teachers a reason to celebrate.”

Tony Ave will drive the Front Row Racing No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend.

Ave, a road racing specialist, will need to qualify on speed at the Sonoma, Calif., road course in order to make his third career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The Hurley, Wis., native prepared for his return to NASCAR by testing with Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 team at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last week.

Ave is the current points leader in the Trans-Am Series season and has won the last three races.  His two previous starts in the Sprint Cup Series came at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in 2004 and 2009.  The 2009 start was also for Front Row team owner Bob Jenkins.

“I’m looking forward to it, for sure,” Ave said. “I’ve been racing the Trans-Am Series the last few years.  I won it last year and I’m leading the points again this year, so I obviously like to do a lot of road racing.  I’m looking forward to running in the Cup car just because it’s a little bit different.

“In Trans-Am, we don’t do the pit stops and stuff, and NASCAR races are longer, so I’m looking forward to the change.  And, obviously the competition is tougher there than anywhere.  It’s always good to measure yourself against the best guys and see how you can do.

“I’m definitely familiar with the track.  I raced Sonoma years ago in Trans-Am and tested there a lot.  I didn’t race on the current configuration – I raced on a configuration that the IndyCars race on.  But I tested recently on the track.  I was just up there testing a car last fall.”

(This package will be updated as news breaks today.)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Tuesday, June 21 2011
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