Jimmy Johnson Joins Leitzinger, Forbes-Robinson, Brule in Crawford Daytona Prototype for Rolex 24 At Daytona
DENVER, N.C. (January 2, 2004) -- Howard-Boss Motorsports and Crawford Race Cars announced today that former Rolex 24 At Daytona winners Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson (EFR) will team with car owner Dave Brule and NASCAR Superstar Jimmie Johnson to drive the No. 4 Boss Snowplow DP03 Daytona Prototype entry in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"With the addition of Jimmie Johnson, our driver lineup is complete," said Brule, owner/driver of the No. 4 Boss Snowplow Daytona Prototype. "As car owner, I couldn't be more pleased with the talent we've assembled. Elliott and Butch have five overall Rolex 24 At Daytona wins and incredible racing histories. Jimmie has obviously proven his ability to drive just about anything and is clearly one of the rising stars in NASCAR. I'm also quite pleased with the blend of personalities. These guys have been absolutely great to work with. Not only are they extremely professional, they are fun to be around."
"Both Rick Howard and I are pleased with the (test) results at Homestead and are looking forward to its (DP03 Daytona Prototype) first run at Daytona," Brule continued. "Plus, we can't say enough about the effort put in by Max (Crawford) and the team at Crawford Race Cars -- they've been superb."
"We're extremely delighted that Dave Brule chose us to be his manufacturer," Crawford stated. "And, we're also honored to be associated with Howard-Boss Motorsports. We're delighted to have someone of his caliber come over to run in the Rolex Series. We're also pleased to be associated once again with Elliott and Butch. Plus, we welcome Jimmie Johnson into what Dave Brule calls 'The Family Plan'."
Butch Leitzinger, a road racing veteran from State College, Pa., has won the Rolex 24 At Daytona three times in his twelve career starts. Leitzinger was a member of the winning team in 1994, 1997 and 1999. Coincidentally, Leitzinger and Forbes-Robinson teamed for the '97 and '99 victories with Crawford as their crew chief.
"I've known Max and Jan Crawford for a long time, and have worked with them on several occasions," Leitzinger said. "When I learned that they were building a Daytona Prototype car, I called EFR and wanted to be involved with this program. I met Dave Brule several years ago, and he's a real gentleman. I am really happy to be a part of this team and have the opportunity to compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona."
Forbes-Robinson will be making his 19th career start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Along with his two victories teaming with Leitzinger in '97 and '99, EFR has earned six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in the prestigious twice around the clock event.
"The Crawfords have worked very hard on the new DP03 Daytona Prototype car," EFR commented. "Howard-Boss Motorsports has a great group of drivers in their cars, and I feel as though we have as good a shot as anyone in the race."
Jimmie Johnson will be making his first-ever start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona after finishing second in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings in 2003. Johnson posted three wins and captured two Bud Pole Awards as well as winning "The Winston" in May.
"I am really excited to be participating in such a prestigious race," Johnson stated.
The Leitzinger, EFR, Brule and Johnson team will have the support of Action Performance Companies and Chevrolet for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"I'm thrilled that Jimmie Johnson will participate in his first Rolex 24 At Daytona, giving his fans the opportunity to see him compete in a different setting," commented Fred Wagenhals, Action Performance Chairman, President and CEO. "Action Performance has a strong relationship with Jimmie and will support this program with officially licensed merchandise."
Gary Claudio, GM Racing Group Marketing Manager, remarked, "GM Racing and Chevrolet are pleased to be involved with this endeavor. With the addition of Jimmy Johnson, three of our NASCAR Chevrolet drivers will be participating in this event with Howard-Boss Motorsports, making this event exciting for the fans as well as the competitors. GM Racing is proud to be associated with Howard-Boss Motorsports, Crawford Race Cars and the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series."
Howard-Boss Motorsports will participate in pre-season testing at Daytona International Speedway, January 3-5. Admission to the Oldfield grandstands during testing is free of change and can be accessed through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.
Tickets to the 42nd Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 29 - February 1, are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Additional information on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and the Rolex 24 At Daytona is available at www.grandamerican.com.