Boris Said – who was in the news a lot this week after he promised to put a “whuppin’ “ on Greg Biffle after they had a big crash at Watkins Glen (you can watch the video of Boris’s outburst here) – is not in jail and, in fact, will be racing in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal.
But he’s been in jail twice – once for real and once for fun.
In 2001, Boris showed up at Mosport for a Trans-Am race and was promptly arrested and thrown into the nearby Bowmanville jail.
It seems that Boris got into a beef over money and was sued in Ontario court. He kept skipping court dates, so a warrant was put out for his arrest. When he arrived at the race track on Friday, he found himself in handcuffs.
The jolly group that meets regularly on the hill near the second turn – Corner Two Racing, Inc. – began a campaign, complete with signs, to “Free Boris.”
Whether they had any influence or not is not known but somebody in Mosport management managed to get Boris sprung on Sunday in time for the race. He finished eighth (after starting 31st and last (he’d missed all the practice sessions and qualifying, after all) behind race winner Paul Gentilozzi.
You’d have thought he’d learned a lesson, but no.
The other time he “went to jail” was in 2003 when he was racing in NASCAR at Infineon Raceway in California. A guard at the nearby San Quentin prison invited Boris and his crew to take a tour of the maximum security facility.
While there, Boris stretched out on the injection table in the execution chamber, after which he quipped: “The guard said, ‘I’m not supposed to let you do that – I’ve never seen anyone get up from there before.’ It was a creepy feeling.”
By the way, this will all change later today but in first practice this morning, Ron Fellows, Marcos Ambrose, Alex Tagliani, Boris Said and Jacques Villeneuve were the top five fastest for the Nationwide race. Andrew Ranger is the only Canadian who appears to be struggling, mired back in 37th,
Danica Patrick, meantime, who’s the only woman entered (Jennifer Jo Cobb rented out her ride), clocked in 19th. Forty-seven cars took time.
TV TIMES: The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve will be telecast live Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on TSN. The Nationwide race pre-race show will start at 2 p.m. with the race itself getting the green flag at 2:30, also on TSN. The NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan will take place Sunday on TSN with the pre-race at noon and the green flag at 1 p.m. No IndyCar this weekend but Formula One returns next weekend and it’s about time.
GOOD NEWS: Richard Foley of Montreal, who raced on the beach at Daytona and then was the first Canadian to race in the Daytona 500 in 1959 when Bill France opened the big Speedway, will wave the green flag to start the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race Saturday in Montreal.
It’s about time that NASCAR honoured some of the early pioneers of NASCAR stock car racing in Canada. Yes, Quebec’s Jean-Paul Cabana waved the flag for the very first Nationwide race at Circuit Gille-Villeneuve three years ago, but he wasn’t a pioneer and he never raced in the big league.
Of course, they haven’t yet seen fit to invite Earl Ross to Montreal, either. Ross, to this date, remains the only Canadian to win a race at what was then the Winston Cup level. That was in 1974.
NOTES: The documentary Senna opens today (Friday) at the Varsity Theatre at the Bloor-Bay Manulife Centre. Better move fast, though, because I suspect it will only be there for the weekend. Bruce DeMara gave it a wonderful review and you can read it here. . . . D.J. Kennington, defending NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, will do double duty at Montreal. He’ll be in the Nationwide race as well as the Canadian Tire, joining Ranger, Fellows and J.R. Fitzpatrick driving in both races . . .
TAKE A BOW: Stanley has made a guaranteed donation of $100,000 to Canadian Tire Jumpstart on behalf of Stanley and Stanley-sponsored Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose, who is competing in the 2011 Nationwide Series race in Montreal.
Stanley’s involvement with the program is now in its second year, and includes participation in annual product promotions that will help support the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program.
"Not only am I excited to race in Montreal in front of all the Canadian fans, but I am very happy to be racing for a worthy cause such as the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program where Stanley will donate $100,000 on our behalf” said Ambrose in a release.
“If we can help kids achieve their goals in sports programs across Canada with support from great companies such as Stanley and Canadian Tire, that is a great accomplishment"
Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a community-based charitable program that helps kids aged 4 to 18 participate in organized sport and recreation activities such as hockey, soccer, dance and swimming.
ON THE FARM: When Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race got rained out at Watkins Glen , NASCAR driver Andy Lally and Grand Am Rolex Series driver Spencer Pumpelly (he drove at Mosport in the American Le Mans Series race in July) visited the nearby Farm Sanctuary, a facility for rescued animals. Lally and Pumpelly are both vegan, which means they do not consume meat, milk, cheese, or eggs, and do not use any animal by-products, such as leather and wool. “I do it for ethical reasons,” explained Lally, in a release. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide life-long care for nearly 1,000 cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and other farm animals that were destined for the dinner table. Directions to the New York Shelter in Watkins Glen are available here.