Said Pulls Off Shocker In Pepsi 400 Qualifying


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., - Boris Said pulled off a shocker during Circle K Pole Qualifying for the Pepsi 400 on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

Said, driving the Sobe-No-Fear Ford for a start-up team owned by Frank Stoddard and Mark Simo, turned a fast lap of 186.143 mph to earn the pole for Saturday's Pepsi 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.

"We knew we had a good car," Said said. "This is actually the car that Greg Biffle ran in the Budweiser Shootout and we bought from Roush."

The pole is Said's second career Bud Pole in 23 NEXTEL Cup Series starts and his best-ever on an oval.

While Said, a road course ace, has the pole, he knows that he's going to be taught some lessons by the veterans in Saturday's 160-lap, 400-mile event.

"I'm going to go to school (Saturday) night and I'm sure I'll get kicked to the back pretty quick," Said said. "I'm going to use this as a learning experience and hopefully we'll get a good run."

Another perk from Friday's Bud Pole is a starting berth in next year's Budweiser Shootout during Speedweeks 2007, an All-Star race featuring previous year's Bud Pole winners as well as past Budweiser Shootout champions.

"For sure I have one race next year and I'll definitely be at Daytona for that," Said remarked.

On the outside front row for Saturday's Pepsi 400 will be 2005 Pepsi 400 winner Tony Stewart, who turned a lap of 185.651 mph in the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet.

Rounding out the top five in qualifying were rookie David Stremme (185.578), Jeff Gordon (185.506) and Joe Nemechek (185.464).

For Stremme, it was his career-best qualifying effort.

"We actually did a lot of qualifying runs to make sure we got in the field solid," Stremme said. "We're not far off. Reed (Sorenson) and Casey (Mears) ran in the draft and we don't have much different of a setup than they do. This is a car they hung a new body on. It's the same chassis we ran in the 500. I wish it was back in February and the year was starting out so we could start out the year a little different, but I'm pretty proud of my team."

Other notable qualifiers were Dale Jarrett (seventh), Jimmie Johnson (ninth) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (35th).

Kirk Shelmerdine, who posted his career-best finish of 20th in the 2006 Daytona 500, qualified 27th.

Failing to qualify for the Pepsi 400 were Scott Wimmer, Kevin Lepage, Kenny Wallace, Chad Blount and Kertus Davis.

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