Said, Stoddard to start new Nextel Cup team

Veteran driver and Nextel Cup semi-regular Boris Said and veteran crew chief Frank Stoddard have formed their own Nextel Cup team, Yahoo! Sports has learned. They are partnering with long-time Said associate and former driver and team owner Mark Simo.

The team, which is slated to run four or five races this season, will work with Roush Racing, which has offered to supply the team with cars, engines and technical expertise.

Stoddard recently left MB2 Motorsports and speculation was that he was set to rejoin Roush. But Stoddard, who used to be crew chief for Roush's No. 99 car when Jeff Burton was behind the wheel, instead has been working with Roush officials on forming the new team.

Said has been frustrated with his inability to find a regular Cup ride this season after running nine races with MB2 in 2005 with Stoddard as his crew chief. After Simo's No Fear clothing company purchased a building adjacent to Roush Racing headquarters in Concord, N.C., for a planned East Coast distribution center, Said, who has been working as a consultant for Roush's teams, began talking with Roush about possibly starting a team.

"When I first talked to Jack, he suggested the idea and I immediately brought it to Mark," Said explained.

Simo, who has been out of the racing game for several years, is no stranger to team ownership. He and former Cup star Ernie Irvan formed Irvan-Simo Racing in 1995. The team was one of the original NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams and a regular contender from series inception in 1995 through 1998. The team also gave Said his first start in a Cup car in 1999 at Watkins Glen.

This season, Said has made one NASCAR stock car start. He won the pole for the Busch race at Mexico City in early March and finished second in that race.

The current plan is for the new team to run the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway road course in June, the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in July, the Brickyard in August and the Watkins Glen road course, also in August.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Said said.

The team has secured sponsorship for at least four races, with an announcement regarding sponsorship details to come.