Off Season Blog:
The NASCAR off-season has officially started and if you’re like me, you’re already excited about the next one firing up in Daytona. Joe Gibbs Racing was blessed with a successful season that resulted in a Nationwide Series championship, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year, and nine Sprint Cup Series wins. In April of 2009 I joined Joe Gibbs Racing as a kind of embedded reporter. My mission was to show our fans what it’s like to be a member of one of the most competitive racing teams in the world. Every weekend, during each race, I was on pit road and in the garage sending race updates and pictures to JoeGibbsRacing.com and thousands of followers on Twitter.
Needless to say, for someone who loves auto-racing, this has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I witnessed historic wins, was soaked with Powerade in Victory Lane, and experienced the agony of losing races we should have won. What’s more is that I discovered why Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has risen to the top of this sport – it’s people. Through it all I was able to share my exciting job with fans all over the world. Now that the off-season is upon us, I wanted to recap some of my most memorable experiences in detail – that’s where “Boris Says” comes in. I hope you’ll find my blog unique and enjoyable. Each week during the off season I’ll be posting a new entry with stories you won’t want to miss. I’ll share my experiences with each of our drivers, many of our crew members, and recap some of the most exciting race moments.
Joey Logano and the Nicknames
Let me start with my nickname. There are a lot of nicknames at JGR, some that make a lot of sense and others that are a mystery. It’s not uncommon for someone at the track to be known by their nickname exclusively. In fact, there are a couple of pit crew members whose real names I can’t remember (apologies to Spike and Dawg). It didn’t take long for a nickname to attach itself to me. After my first race with the team in Talladega, I boarded the team plane for the trip back to North Carolina. Sitting in front of me was Joey Logano, driver of the No.20 Home Depot Toyota. I hadn’t met Joey yet, but he turned around in his seat and introduced himself. “Has anyone told you that you look like Boris Said?” he asked. “Yes, once.” I replied. He let out a friendly laugh and exclaimed, “Boris!” and then turned back around. From then on, Joey and practically everyone at the shop has called me Boris. I got the chance to tell that story to the real Boris Said when I met him at the race in California. “Oh yeah!? Sliced Bread calls you that?” he said. You can’t escape nicknames around here.
One thing is for sure, you won’t find these behind-the-scenes stories anywhere else! Feel free to ask questions and comment on my entries below. Check back next week when I reveal My Biggest Surprises About Being on a NASCAR Team including something you might not have known about Kyle Busch.