Petty Enterprises taps Said after qualifying washed out

Updated: August 8, 2008, 7:11 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

WATKINS GLEN, NY -- Boris Said went from another bad-luck day of rained-out qualifying Friday to landing a ride in the No. 45 Dodge to drive for Kyle Petty in the Centurion Boats at The Glen on Sunday.

Petty Enterprises asked Said to drive the car after qualifying was rained out. Said's No. 60 Ford was one of the cars that didn't have a guaranteed spot and needed to make the race on speed, so his car was out of the race.

But Said quickly learned he had other options. Along with the Petty offer, he also was asked by Yates Racing to replace Travis Kvapil in the No. 28 Ford.

That caused a dilemma for Said since his car is a Ford. But he decided it was better to accept the Pettys' offer to drive for them rather than replace Kvapil.

Kvapil has competed in every Cup event this season and ranks a respectable 22nd in the standings. But Ford officials initially wanted to make Said an offer to compete in a Ford.

"In the end, I thought it was unethical and they did also," Said said. "This gives me the chance to say I raced for Petty Enterprises. What an honor that is. I can take that one off my bucket list."

Said will have to start in the back, but said he won't be over-aggressive in trying to move up too quickly.

"I'm not going to try any of the crazy stuff I usually try in my car," he said. "I will do everything I can to take care of the equipment and get a top 10 for the Pettys. I think they would feel like that was a win."

Said still feels bad for his team, who have to pack up and head home for the second consecutive year because of rain at Watkins Glen.

"NASCAR really needs to look at changing this for next year," Said said. "Go ahead and put the top 35 [automatic qualifiers] in the field, but let the go-or-go-homers race for the remaining spots on Saturday morning. All you would have to do is block off about 30 minutes of time. It really is the fair thing to do."

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter