4 car diary - We take the Lead

4 car diary - We take the Lead

First Driver Change By Bill King Just before the caution came out at Lap 62, Butch Leitzinger - overall race leader for the past half dozen laps - reported that his rear tires were going off on The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports ...

First Driver Change
By Bill King

Just before the caution came out at Lap 62, Butch Leitzinger - overall race leader for the past half dozen laps - reported that his rear tires were going off on The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. Told he only had six laps to his second scheduled stop and driver change, Leitzinger agreed to hold on.

#4 Howard - Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford: Butch Leitzinger, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Jimmie Johnson.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Within 30sec, the caution came out and Leitzinger was called in. The 52.843sec pit stop went smoothly - installing four Hoosiers, fuel and Elliott Forbes-Robinson.

Once underway, EFR got this radio transmission from Leitzinger: "The biggest thing, be really easy on the rears. The last 10 gallons they start to go away, especially the last five gallons. Be careful braking going into (turn) one. It'll kick the rear out a bit."

EFR: "Did you try turning the traction (control) down to see if it works better?"

Butch: "I didn't try that. I was backing off the throttle before getting into the traction control."

After the debriefing, Leitzinger commented on staying out on the first caution at Lap 14: "We really like to stay out of the pits as much as we can. We don't really subscribe so much to the if-it's-a-yellow-flag-come-in- no-matter-what. Essentially, we have a tire rule here where we only have 30 sets of tires at the beginning of the weekend. So we definitely don't want to go trough a bunch of tires in the beginning and be stuck mid-race or at the end. So we went a bit longer and changed one less set of tires so far than the other guys and we're still in the lead there. It didn't hurt us and I think it can only help us.

"You really do have to watch the rears," Leitzinger continued about the tires. "If you get aggressive with them at all, like even a couple of times in traffic if you just kind of abuse them a bit to get around someone, it really doesn't like that. So it's going to be really touch and go to get a set of tires to live for the whole stint."

Leitzinger said he'd not noticed any marbling problems. "Off line isn't great, but it's not that bad."

EFR settled the No. 4 in fifth about 20sec adrift the No. 20 team car, which has reassumed the Rolex 24 lead three hours into the round-the-clock marathon.

Editor's note:
Please view all the diary entries by Bill King on the No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford at http://www.motorsport.com/news/series.asp?S=GRANDAM

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Bill King , Eric Gilbert