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“It feels great,” Tracy said. “It’s been so long since I’ve been in a competitive car. We were challenging for second place at the end. I was just trying to get into the first corner (at the start) and the 90 car (Michael Valiante) spun around and got into me. We kind of dug ourselves a hole.”

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TAGLIANI’S BUSY DAY: Alex Tagliani, a regular driver for Team Barracuda in the IZOD IndyCar series, was supposed to be in China this weekend, but the event was canceled in late June. He managed to become a very busy man anyhow.

The veteran from Lachenaie, Quebec, who put his No. 30 Chevrolet on pole for the NASCAR Nationwide race, led that race late and finished 27th after being spun out by Jacques Villeneuve.

Before the NASCAR event, Tagliani also drove two cars in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. He started the race third in the No. 8 Ford/Riley Daytona Prototype for Starworks Motorsport and easily maintained his position, once even looking to challenge Memo Rojas for second.

Tagliani was replaced by regular driver Ryan Dalziel early in the race after Alex Popow spun in the No. 2 car of Starworks, then replaced Popow and piloted the car to a seventh-place finish, one spot ahead of Dalziel.

Not bad for a guy hoping to land a ride in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next year.

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BORED BORIS?: Two years ago, road race ace Boris Said won a stirring last-lap battle with Max Papis to win the Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Last year, he finished 37th after an accident. This year, he lost his sponsor and didn’t race in the event, driving only in the GT class of the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series.

Said has made just two NASCAR starts this year, both in Sprint Cup on the two road courses the series visits each year. He started 28th and finished 29th at Sonoma in June and last week started and finished 25th at Watkins Glen, both with crew chief Frank Stoddard.

But he’s still a busy man, racing the whole season in Grand-Am and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, a street stock series, and also competing in Australia in V8 Supercars.

“I thought I had a Nationwide ride here, but I lost it at the last minute,” Said said. “It’s definitely disappointing, but the economy’s tough right now and teams are all struggling. Hopefully, we’ll get a new president and next year it’ll be easier to find some sponsors.”

Said, who turns 50 in a month, and teammate Eric Curran finished seventh in GT on Saturday in Marsh Racing’s No. 31 Chevrolet Corvette.

Next year, Said is hopeful of a competitive Cup ride on both Cup road courses.

“I’m really excited about that,” he said.

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