Watkins Glen II: Howard-Boss no. 4 race report

BOSS Snowplow Team Fifth at Watkins Glen EFR, Leitzinger earn fifth top-five of '05 Watkins Glen, NY (August 14, 2005) . The ...

BOSS Snowplow Team Fifth at Watkins Glen

EFR, Leitzinger earn fifth top-five of '05

Watkins Glen, NY (August 14, 2005) . The #4 BOSS Snowplow Racing Team notched their fifth top-five finish of the Rolex Sports Car Series season with a 5th-place run in the Comp USA 200 at The Glen on Friday evening. The team of Elliott Forbes-Robinson (EFR) and Butch Leitzinger bounced back from their disappointing 11th-place finish at Barber Motorsports Park on July 31st to post their first top-five at the historic Watkins Glen track since they finished fourth in the Six Hours of The Glen last June.

EFR and Leitzinger alternated time behind the wheel of the BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford during two practice sessions on Friday prior to qualifying. EFR was selected to qualify the Howard-Boss Motorsports entry and responded with a fast lap of 1:10.798 / 91.757 mph to earn the 17th position in the 45-car starting field.

A veteran of many sports car races at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen track, EFR knew that the early stages of the race would be very "exciting" as drivers battled for track position on the tricky, tight course. With the passing areas limited at Watkins Glen, EFR knew that he would have to pick his spots and take advantage accordingly. That strategy proved beneficial as he moved up to the 11th position when the first caution of the race waved on lap 13. With several teams electing to pit during this caution, EFR would restart 9th on lap 19. After another brief caution period on lap 23, EFR would restart eighth in the running order.

During the next fourteen laps, EFR would work his way through the field and move from eighth to fifth. When the third caution waved on lap forty, EFR brought the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford to the pits for fuel, tires, and a driver change.

It was during this pit stop that the #4 BOSS Snowplow Team suffered a costly delay on pit road. When their Howard-Boss Motorsports teammate Tony Stewart, pitting directly in front of the Boss team, did not enter his pit correctly, it cost the BOSS Team as they were momentarily "blocked" in their pit stall. This loss of valuable time and position on the track would come back to haunt the #4 BOSS Snowplow Team in their quest for their fifth podium finish of the 2005 season.

Butch Leitzinger would restart in the seventh position on lap 49 and begin his stint behind the wheel. The Watkins Glen International course is considered the "home track" for Leitzinger, and the veteran road racer certainly knows his way around the historic road course. Leitzinger quickly moved to the sixth position after the restart, but faced a deficit of over ten seconds to the leaders. On lap 59, the veteran moved to fifth position and trailed the leaders by 9.3 seconds. Even with two brief caution periods near the end of the race, Leitzinger would be unable to advance his position and the Pennsylvania driver would bring the BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford home in the fifth position.

"The car was really good this weekend," EFR commented after the event. "This track is very difficult to pass on, so you have to be very careful and pick your spots. It took a while to get past some of the people in this race, but I was glad to gain some positions and turn the car over to Butch (Leitzinger) in good shape."

"At the end of the race, the car was actually pretty good," Leitzinger added. "The crew did a good job preparing this car and making adjustments during the weekend. We lost some positions when I got blocked in on pit road, and that hurt our track position. We certainly hoped for a podium finish here at The Glen, but we'll come back strong at Mid-Ohio in two weeks."

As Leitzinger mentioned, the next race for the #4 BOSS Snowplow Team will be the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, August 27th. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, August 26th, with the 250-mile event set for a 5:30 PM ET start on the 27th. Speed Channel will provide tape-delayed coverage of the race beginning at noon on Sunday, August 28th. The EMCO Gears Classic will be the tenth of fourteen races on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series schedule for 2005.

-hbm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Elliott Forbes-Robinson