20 car snapshot: Painful 24 winding down

20 car snapshot: Painful 24 winding down

The fortunes of the No. 20 Howard Motorsports Jackson Hewitt / Subway Pontiac Crawford turned south shortly after your correspondent skulked off to the comfort of his motel room Saturday evening, beating the approaching monsoon by several hours....

The fortunes of the No. 20 Howard Motorsports Jackson Hewitt / Subway Pontiac Crawford turned south shortly after your correspondent skulked off to the comfort of his motel room Saturday evening, beating the approaching monsoon by several hours. To my chagrin, Speed switched from the 24 to a Baja feature, so I drifted off with no knowledge of the mayhem evolving at Daytona International Speedway.

Pitstop for #20 Howard Motorsports Pontiac Crawford: Andy Wallace, Butch Leitzinger, Tony Stewart.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
The purpose of these snapshots was to give you an insider's look at the interplay between driver and crew chief during the 45th Rolex 24. Fortunately, you missed very little of those exchanges during my hibernation as one nighttime disaster followed on another rendering the debriefings more of an injury report as careless competitors transmorgified the 20 Car into a ping-pong ball.

The butcher's bill this morning was three noses, three splitters, two complete suspensions on both left and right front corners, one tail beam, a windshield and a steering wheel as the telemetry went fritz. Also throw in several gallons of oil for an engine that was really was hurt by that early drama with the coil on #8 cylinder.

Crew Chief Catherine Crawford-Wallace and her Howard Motorsports crew are a bit shell-shocked this a.m. But racers that they are, the 20 Car continues to muddle along.

The focus of good teams is always to win the Rolex 24. When that goal is impossible, it becomes a matter of pride, not to mention pure stubbornness, to finish and thus extract some small degree of justification for having chosen this profession.

Then, of course, there's always the 46th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

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Series GRANDAM