Second Driver Change By Bill King The windscreen was a smeared up oily mess as Elliott Forbes-Robinson completed his first stint at the wheel of The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard- Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. Jimmie Johnson stood on the pit...
Second Driver Change
By Bill King
The windscreen was a smeared up oily mess as Elliott Forbes-Robinson completed his first stint at the wheel of The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard- Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. Jimmie Johnson stood on the pit wall his turn and his first semi-opaque view of the 43rd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. This would be the early NASCAR shift with Tony Stewart getting on board the No. 20, Bobby Labonte up in the No. 44 Pontiac Doran and Casey Mears in the No. 03 Lexus Riley.
On Lap 127 EFR follows Jan Lammers into the Crawford pits for full service and driver changes. The crew does the best they can to degrease the windshield. Johnson has trouble getting his Hans device properly seated in the harness causing a longer than normal stop of 1:04.995. He returns to the race in seventh, about 10 seconds behind teammate Stewart in the No. 20.
Forbes-Robinson explained the windscreen problem: "After the wreck, they let the 01 car go back out and he had a giant oil leak. I tried to stay away from behind him, but he was just fast enough that I couldn't get by and he was dropping oil. And after he left, I'd collected enough oil that I had to ask the guys what coming up behind because I couldn't even see the mirrors because of the reflection from the sun.
"The car is great," EFR stated. "The rear tire grip is really a problem, but other than that it's fine. It was a smooth run. I was lapping in the 1:51-1:52 range - maybe a 1:50.5 on a clear lap. I hope we can run like that all night. I don't to push too hard because we got a long ways to go.
"The way the crew set up the car, we're getting really good fuel mileage and that should eventually pay off for us."
At Lap 149, Johnson is called in under a full-course yellow for service - tires and fuel - and to remove a windshield tear-off. He has been lapping consistently in the 1:50-1:52 range with an occasional dip into the 1:49s.
Johnson had asked crew chief Catherine Crawford if she could give him a little more forward bite. Crawford said, "That will require an aero change and we don't have time right now for that." - meaning no time to mount a new nosepiece. The routine pit stop was completed in 36.775sec - the team's quickest of the day.
The green flew again on Lap 154 (5:35 pm EST) with Johnson and the No. 4 in fourth behind teammate Stewart and four seconds out of the lead.
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