LAS VEGAS — Boris Said is exactly what Las Vegas loves: an underdog.
His Southern Pride Trucking Ford Fusion from the Latitude 43 team is in Sunday’s Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and he’s happy for that, but tonight, he was overjoyed to watch the U.S. Men’s Four-Man Bobsled team win gold in Vancouver.
Said is a bobsledder at heart. His father was a bobsledder, and Boris has been part of former Ford driver Geoffrey Bodine’s Bo-Dyne Bobsled Project, which began in 1993. Said has even won the charity event at Lake Placid.
It’s safe to say that he has a lot invested in the outcome of tonight’s final two heats.
“I have a sense of pride,” he said of the team’s first-place standing after the first two heats on Friday. “It’s kind of like watching your kid or something. For five years we’ve been doing this charity, me and [Team USA No. 1 driver] Steve Holcomb, I talk to him a lot, e-mail him a lot and we talk about car racing similarities and things like that. To see him doing as well as he is, it’s just amazing.”
Said was glowing in his praise for the group of athletes wearing red, white and blue.
“These athletes work…just to see their pride and how much enthusiasm they have for it,” he said. “They spend 365 days a year training for something that most Americans don’t know about except for once every four years. They don’t make any money. They do it for the sport and for love of country, and I think that’s a crime.
“I think more of corporate America needs to get behind these guys because they’re making our country look great,” Said added, knowing it is the first time in 62 years for the gold to come to the US in this event.
“Last night, my wife was like, ‘it’s the Olympics, Olympics, Olympics,’ and I said, ‘it’s the bobsled, honey, I want to watch this.’ I am really psyched to see if they can pull it off. It’s a tough track, really technical, and as you saw yesterday, all it takes is one mistake and you’re on your lid.”
Said is proud to report that he’s never crashed a bobsled.
“Nope, never have. I think me and one other driver are the only ones that haven’t crashed a sled.”
As for Sunday, Said is pragmatic regarding what his team faces.
“We’re on a different program,” he said. “This team I’m racing for this year, we thought we had a deal worked out for a full-time run, but it never materialized and we are running this on an extremely low budget until they find a sponsor.
“It’s fun driving around, but it’s not fun for me not having a chance to be competitive.”
While there are some hopes for sponsorship on the horizon, it’s all going toward his goal of doing the full NASCAR season.
“I have confidence, given time,” he explained. “This is hard racing. On my bucket list, I want to get one full season of NASCAR, and I’m not going to quit until I get that done and see how I do. I’m not going to run in the top 10 right away.
“Given enough races, though, I think I could do that. I can on a road course. I just have to figure it out on an oval. I’ve done it on a superspeedway. Every track is a different set of skills, and I think I have a couple of them figured out. I just need more time.”