Ten reasons (besides the fact that he survived this fire) why Boris Said is the coolest guy to ever get behind the wheel of a racecar.
When I was just a wee lad, my old man took me to Sears Point (now commercially known as Infineon Raceway). We were there watching an SCCA Escort Endurance Series (World Challenge) road race and there was this plain white 1990 5.0 Mustang absolutely ripping around the racecourse. This guy was beating the piss out this car and crushing the "sponsored" competition. I had never seen a car driven so hard.
Eventually this aggressive driver bashed the front of the ‘Stang into somebody who was "in his way" and the radiator started pouring steam over the windshield. Did the driver stop because he couldn't see anything? Nope, he undid his harnesses, leaned out of the driver's window and kept driving with an overheating motor. Not only was he still making laps, he was actually passing people! It was the baddest ass thing I had ever seen anyone do behind the wheel of a car. The driver of that Mustang? Mr. Boris Said. I've been a fan of his ever since. Here are the top ten reasons why he is what people refer to as the shit.
1. He won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, twice, back to back.
America's biggest endurance race (not the longest, that belongs to NASA's 25 Hours of Thunderhill) Daytona 24 is one of the toughest races in the world second only to the 24 Hours of Le Mans (where one year Boris set the GT2 class pole). Boris won the Daytona 24 hour race twice in a row in the GT3 class in 1997 and 1998.
2. He tutored the Intimidator on road racing.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. had Boris Said give him driving pointers and car setup advice before the NASCAR schedule would hit Infineon or Watkins Glen each year. When Dale Jr. came on board, Papa Earnhardt enlisted Boris to help "the boy" learn how to turn right.
3. He won the 2002 Trans-Am Championship.
The Trans-Am series is one of the most respected road racing championships in the world. You might recognize some of the heroic racing names on the Trans-Am champions list: Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones, George Follmer, Scott Pruett, Tommy Kendall, and of course, Boris Said in 2002.
4. He only entered one Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race in 2004 and won.
Boris likes to run lots of different series and he seems to win in almost every one he enters. He only raced one Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race in 2004 in the GS class. No problem, he won it. He has also picked up American Le Man Series wins, notably one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
5. He was the first American to win the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring.
We all know about Ring times and anyone who plays Gran Turismo understands how long and tough that track is in a video game. Boris raced there for real for 24 hours in 2005 and won the thing. An American conquering the Germans in Germany? It was like WWII all over again.
6. He captured a pole while competing in NASCAR at Daytona.
NASCAR is where the money is if you're an American racecar driver. The dude has to pay his bills so he crossed over from road racing to Bowlville and was the fastest qualifier during the Pepsi 400 in 2006, at of all places, Daytona International Speedway. He said if he won he would shave his head. A fourth place finished saved his famous bushy dew.
7. He has competed in the Australian V8 Supercar Series and the Baja 1000.
Australia has one of the coolest racing series running in the world right now with brutish V8 cars running endurance distances with two drivers. If Foster's is Australian for beer then V8 Supercars Series is Australian for racing. Yup, Boris ran that. And if that wasn't tough enough for you, he also ran the Baja 1000 the absolutely the roughest race on the planet.
8. He won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Sure, it's the junior varsity of NASCAR, but winning a Nationwide Series race still ain't easy. Just ask Boris. He's been a hired gun as a road course ringer for years in Nationwide and Sprint Cup but luck just wasn't on his side. He was the fastest fool on the track most of the time but crazy things would go wrong with his cars (like the front would get bashed in because slower people were in his way). Finally it all came together for him (by about six inches) at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2010. He finally picked up a NASCAR first place trophy.
9. He runs NASA's 25 Hours of Thunderhill
Even though he's a pro racecar driver, he still runs semi-pro/amateur events that he finds challenging. He has been spotted at NASA's 25 Hours of Thunderhill racing hard into the night. The event is run in December when most race series are on hiatus. If nothing else is going on in the winter, try to survive the 25!
10. He is a white dude with an afro.
While driving in NASCAR fans of his called themselves Said Heads and sported gnarly white dude afro wigs at races. They swill beer and chant, "Fear the fro!"
Because Boris always drives well beyond ten-tenths, we'll go ahead and throw in another cool thing he did, we'll go to "eleven" as they say in Spinal Tap.
11. He raced in the X-Games Rally competition.
Boris jumped into a Subie and ran it hard at X Games 13 proving he is absolutely fearless behind the wheel of any vehicle. NASCAR, ALMS, Grand-Am, SCORE, Trans-Am, whatever, you don't want this guy in your rearview mirror.
Oh, and that lead photo of Boris on fire in the cockpit of the number 28 Corvette, ironically that car had a flame paint job prior to life imitating art. Makes you sort of re-think that flame paint job you were planning for the old hot rod.