Said takes first NASCAR Nationwide Series laps during test at Road America

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 24, 2010) –  If Boris Said’s disappointment at not running the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America is any indication, fans are in for a treat. 

“I’m really [angry] that I can’t come because I’m going to be somewhere else that weekend,” he said Wednesday, following a morning test session at the famed course. “It’s going to be a great show and I’ll be sure to watch it on TV.”

Said, a road-course ace who has competed in each of NASCAR’s three national series, drove a car provided by Roush Fenway Racing today at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn track in Elkhart Lake, Wis., site of the Bucyrus 200 presented by Menard’s.

Data compiled from the test will be available to teams in advance of the June 19 event.

Said and the Roush Fenway Racing crew collected information that included gear selections, shock travel, braking, RPM and acceleration. Said, who has competed on the Road America course more than 20 times over the last two decades in various series, also narrated a video of laps around the track that will be shared with the teams.

NASCAR officials also were able to gather logistical information for the teams.

“We have a rather large footprint of equipment at our events,” said NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash. “The potential for 50 haulers, our series and partner haulers, not to mention our broadcast partners’ equipment. Where will they park? Where will the garage area be? All of those things need to be included with the data that will go out to our teams.”

“This data will give the teams a leg-up before they get here,” said Brett Bodine, NASCAR’s director of research and development. “Goodyear engineers are also here to give us a tire that’s going to do a great job for us on race weekend. “It’s exciting to see a NASCAR Nationwide car on this track. I told Boris you don’t get many chances to make history.”

Said noted that the track is a very technical course and that “managing brakes will be a key. I hit about 170 mph on the straightaway; 43 of these things in Turn 5 is going to be fantastic.

“These cars aren’t as big, heavy and bulky as they sound,” he added. “That’s what makes it fun. I remember talking to Juan Pablo Montoya about comparing them to an F1 car. He said, ‘It’s boring. These cars are way better because you have to drive them.’ “

The afternoon session included longer runs on fresh tires and a full fuel cell, followed by a few short runs to complete the test.