Bill Fleischman: Latest NASCAR feud: Said, Biffle

Posted: August 18, 2011

ONE OF auto racing's attractions is the drivers' spontaneity. The latest example is Boris Said's verbal shots at Greg Biffle following Monday's race at Watkins Glen.

Said, now known as "Boris Badenov" (from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show), went off on Biffle after they skirmished in the garage area. Said, a part-timer in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, said Biffle "is the most unprofessional scaredy cat I've ever seen. He wouldn't fight me like a man, so if someone texts me his address, I'll go see him and show him what he really needs. He needs a whooping, and I'm going to give it to him.

"I [tried] to talk to him, [but] he wouldn't even let me get out of the car. He comes over and throws a few little baby punches. And then, when I get out, he runs away and hides behind some big guys. But he won't hide for long. I won't settle it on the track. He'll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days."

Other than that, Said had little to say. Any second, I expected him to launch into Richard Pryor's "I'm bad, yes, I'm bad . . . " routine.

Late in Monday's Glen race, Said, a road-racing specialist, tapped the Ford of Biffle's teammate David Ragan. Ragan crashed hard on the driver's side into a metal barrier, then swerved across the track and collided with David Reutimann's Toyota, which went airborne and violently crashed. Neither Ragan nor Reutimann was injured.

On the Speed channel's "NASCAR Race Hub" Tuesday, Biffle explained that Said wrecked him last year at the Glen and then Monday "ran me off [the track] in the carousel corner." Biffle added, "[Said] has a lot of skill and talent, but he's not showing it."

Evidently Said won't be visiting Biffle's home, because, according to Biffle, they spoke Tuesday and Said apologized for running "The Biff" off the track.

Referring to Said's vow to give him a black eye, Biffle said, "It felt like fifth grade: I'll meet you after recess and we'll fight."

Unless Said shows up for a Cup race, he and Biffle probably won't be on the same track again this year. Said will race in Saturday's Nationwide Series race in Montreal. Said is a cult favorite in NASCAR. His fans call themselves "Said Heads" and chant "Who Said? Boris Said!" Surely after his outburst toward Biffle, Said's fans were shouting "Boris Said, all right!"

ERWIN SETTLING IN

When people change jobs they often have to learn new routes to work. Not Greg Erwin. He just moved across the street.

"My desk now is 100 yards from the desk I sat at a month ago," Erwin said from Richard Petty Motorsports headquarters in Concord, N.C.

Following the July 9 Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, Erwin was replaced as Biffle's crew chief for Roush Fenway Racing. Less than a week later, Erwin, from Hatboro, was named crew chief for A.J. Allmendinger.

In an eye-catching scene Saturday, moments after Allmendinger briefly held the pole position for the Watkins Glen race, Jack Roush, who had fired Erwin, was one of the first to shake his hand on pit road.

"I wasn't surprised [by Roush's gesture]," Erwin said. "The relationship I have with Jack is extremely professional."

Erwin said Roush Fenway supplies RPM with complete race cars and technical support. RPM refurbished the building previously occupied by Yates Racing and Gillett-Evernham Motorsports.

Erwin is having the pleasure of getting to know the legendary "King" Richard Petty.

"He's at every race and, at least 2 days a week, he's here at the shop," Erwin said. "I didn't know the man before. He'll sit down and share some experience with me every chance he gets."

Erwin, 41, acknowledged there are moments when he realizes he is talking with a living legend in Petty. "I caught myself doing that this morning," Erwin said. "I'm looking at him and he's wearing his [trademark] sunglasses and hat. I'm learning the Petty history."

Allmendinger is mentioned as the next driver who will break through with his first Cup win. He is 16th in the standings.

Allmendinger left the Glen raging at Kurt Busch for sending him sliding through the grass during the race. Unlike Said and Biffle, "The Dinger" and Busch will be on the tracks the rest of the Cup season.

THIS WEEK'S RACE

Pure Michigan 400

Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: ESPN/WNPV (1440-AM)

Race course: 2-mile oval

Race distance: 200 laps/400 miles

Race forecast: partly cloudy, 79 degrees

Last year's winner: Kevin Harvick

Last year's pole winner: Kasey Kahne, 187.183 mph

Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman, 194.232 mph (June 2005)

Track facts: ESPN.com reports that Danica Patrick will race full time in the Nationwide Series next year for JR Motorsports, with the intent to drive in Sprint Cup for Stewart-Haas in 2013 . . . Four races remain before the 12-driver Chase field is set . . . Marcos Ambrose became the fifth first-time Cup series winner this year with his victory at Watkins Glen Monday. That's the most first-timers since 2002 . . . Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s last W was at Michigan in 2008, 115 races ago . . . Denny Hamlin won the June race at MIS, leading only the final eight laps . . . Five-time reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson hasn't won at Michigan in 19 starts. Johnson's other 0-for tracks are Homestead, Chicago, Watkins Glen and Kentucky . . . Mark Martin has the most wins (5) at Michigan among full-time active drivers.

Wins: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, 3 each; Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, 2 each; Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, David Ragan, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, 1 each.

SPRINT CUP STANDINGS (Through 22 of 36 races)

1. Kyle Busch 752

2. Carl Edwards 752

3. Jimmie Johnson 746

4. Kevin Harvick 738

5. Matt Kenseth 724

6. Kurt Busch 712

7. Jeff Gordon 700

8. Ryan Newman 686

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 670

10. Tony Stewart 659

11. Clint Bowyer 634

12. y-Denny Hamlin 626

13. Greg Biffle 610

14. x-Brad Keselowski 601

15. Paul Menard 599

16. A.J. Allmendinger 599

17. Joey Logano 587

18. Mark Martin 586

19. Kasey Kahne 585

20. Juan Montoya 577

x-No. 1 wild card; y-No. 2 wild card

Chase for the Championship is made up of top 10 drivers, plus two wild cards chosen on the basis of most wins.

Up next: Irwin Tools Night Race, Aug. 27, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn., 7:30 p.m.; TV: ABC (Channel 6); last year's winner: Kyle Busch.

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