Go Green Racing focused on points at Daytona
Photo by Pat Brandon/Used with permisison
Boris Said turns laps at Sonoma Raceway. Said's 26th place effort last Sunday was the team's best
since the Daytona 500.
Photo by Brenda Robertson Owen/
Used with permission
Archie St. Hilaire
But with his rotating driver lineup, St. Hilaire says his team tries to place focus at six distinct events each season. Both road course and the four superspeedway races provide the opportunity for good finishes.
“We put a lot of a focus on them,” he said. “We know we can get good point days. The mile-and-a-half tracks are so difficult against the big teams.
“We know that anybody can win a speedway race, and road course racing, we know we can place good.”
Said ran in his first event of 2015 last Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. Said’s 26th place showing was GGR’s first lead lap finish in five races as well as the team’s best showing since the season opening Daytona 500.
In his 50th career start in NASCAR’s premiere series, Said posted his 25th career lead lap finish.
“We were battling an extremely tight car all day, we made it better at every stop but it wasn’t enough to be more competitive,” Said said to The Racing Experts. “But, [crew chief] Frank [Stoddard] called a great race and did a fantastic job making calls to get us good track position all day.”
The No. 32 entry will be piloted by its fourth different driver in four weeks in tonight’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Past champion Bobby Labonte makes his third of four scheduled starts for the team this season.
“I think Daytona will have some handling to it with the July heat this weekend,” Labonte said. “If there are some longer green flag runs that form, I believe that could be good for us as well. It's always fun racing in Daytona on July 4th weekend under the lights.”
Labonte was 40th fastest in first practice and 36th in final practice. Due to inclement weather, qualifying was cancelled, relegating Labonte to a 38th starting position.
And because of their situation with owner’s points, according to St. Hilaire, a “20th place or better finish” is the goal with Labonte. The team will try to employ a different race strategy than usual.
Photo by Benjamin Palmer/TheRacingExperts.com
Go Green Racing's Mike Bliss leads Matt Kenseth at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015.
“We know what we need to do, so we’re going to stay out of trouble the first half of the race,” he said. “But after that, we know we need points, and we’re willing to risk the chassis…we’re usually a little more cautions, but with points, we will be a little less conservative this week than what we do normally.”
After this weekend’s race at Daytona, the No. 32 team will continue to see different names in the driver’s seat.
“We have Will Kimmel coming in at Kentucky, Eddie MacDonald at Loudon,” he said. “We like bringing the young guys up because there’s not a lot of seats for them. It does hurt a little bit in the points, but we’re willing to take that risk.
“…We’re not sure at Indy; Travis Kvapil will be back at Pocono.”