Road course ringers mostly silent at COTA

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 26: Joey Hand, driver of the #15 Ford Pass Rewards Visa Ford, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)


Practice and qualifying proved to be a bit of trouble for some in the road course “ringers” group at COTA Saturday.

Former NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year, sports car ace Andy Lally did not get to make a qualifying lap and will have to serve a penalty at the beginning of Sunday’s race because of an inspection violation for his No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford. He will start last in the 39-car field

Joey Hand, another IMSA standout road course racer, had a tire problem in practice and the crew was unable to repair the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford in time for him to make a qualifying lap, so he will also start from the rear of the field in 28th place.

One of the sport’s most popular drivers, Boris Said, is returning to competition – making his first NASCAR Cup Series start since 2017 at his hometown track, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Said’s best showing was third at Watkins Glen in 2005. He won a NASCAR Xfinity race in Montreal in 2010.

Said, who has now been racing for four decades, He will start the No. 66 Motorsports Business Management Ford 37th of the 39 cars.