Birmingham: Howard-Boss Motorsports race report

BOSS Snowplow Racing "Taken Out" of Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant Potential podium erased on first lap; perpetrator penalized Leeds, Al (July 30, 2006) . After posting the best qualifying effort of the season for the ...

BOSS Snowplow Racing "Taken Out" of Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant

Potential podium erased on first lap; perpetrator penalized

Leeds, Al (July 30, 2006) . After posting the best qualifying effort of the season for the #4 BOSS Snowplow Racing Team on Saturday afternoon, Butch Leitzinger was literally "punted" off the track on the first lap of the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park. The resulting damage and time spent in the garage making repairs resulted in a 23rd-place finish in the Daytona Prototype Class.

Leitzinger, who qualified in the sixth position for the annual Rolex Series race at the 2.3-mile Alabama course, was in the outside lane entering the "hairpin", turn six, when the #11 CITGO Racing by SAMAX Pontiac Riley driven by Olivier Beretta slammed in the left side of the #4 Pontiac Crawford. The impact forced Leitzinger off the racing surface, and sent the veteran road racer to the pits on the very first lap. After a thorough inspection by the BOSS Snowplow crew, the car was taken to the garage area for repairs. With major repairs needed to the left rear wishbone, gear plate, and left rear quarter panel among other areas damaged, the BOSS Snowplow crew worked to get their Pontiac Crawford back in the race. The #11 CITGO Riley was served a two-minute penalty for, what Grand American Rolex Series officials deemed, "avoidable contact" with the #4 BOSS Snowplow car.

After nearly 29 minutes, Butch Leitzinger drove a beaten and battered racecar back on course. Leitzinger was shown in the 40th overall position when he reentered on lap 17. Leitzinger battled a tough-handling car, but was able to post credible lap times during the remainder of his stint. On lap 62, Leitzinger came to pit road for fuel, tires, and a driver change.

Andy Wallace climbed aboard the #4 Pontiac Crawford and reentered the race in the 38th overall position. Miraculously, Wallace turned some of the fastest overall laps of the entire event during his stint. In fact, for several laps around the lap 70 mark, Wallace was timed as the fastest car on the course. However, the hill was too tall to climb, and the veteran racer brought the BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford to the checkered flag in the 36th overall and 23rd in DP Class finish.

"It's a bloody shame that we suffered the early damage," Wallace stated. "The car and setup for this event was spot on. The crew did a great job of working on our Pontiac Crawford and, we all had high hopes for today. This car was capable of winning this race. If the car would have driven straight, it was capable of turning laps in the 22s (1 minute 22 seconds). The effort put forth by this team after our early-race setback was fantastic. We're certainly looking forward to Watkins Glen."

"This was the third race this year that the #11 CITGO car has hit us during the race," Crew Chief Catherine Crawford Wallace added. "It took a hit like today for Grand Am to finally penalize them. This happened on the very first lap and was totally uncalled for. It took a potentially winning car out of contention. I am very proud of our BOSS Snowplow Team and their effort the entire weekend. It would have been easy to give up after our accident, but everyone worked very hard to repair our Pontiac Crawford and get us back in the race. To run the lap times that Butch and Andy did after the accident was incredible. They did a fantastic job. We certainly didn't get the finish we wanted, but everyone associated with this team leaves Barber (Motorsports Park) knowing we had a great car and gave our best."

The next race for the #4 BOSS Snowplow Racing Team will be at Watkins Glen International on Friday, August 11th. Practice and qualifying will begin on Thursday, August 10th, with the Crown Royal 200 set for a 6 p.m. ET start on the 11th. SPEED TV will provide coverage of round twelve of the 2006 Rolex Series season from historic Watkins Glen International.

-hbm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , Olivier Beretta , Catherine Crawford