4 car diary - Leitzinger completes his Rolex 24

4 car diary - Leitzinger completes his Rolex 24

The Mopping Up Operation Continues By Bill King When Butch Leitzinger started his previous stint in The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford, he was well and truly in contention for the big trophy as 2005 Rolex 24 at ...

The Mopping Up Operation Continues
By Bill King

When Butch Leitzinger started his previous stint in The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford, he was well and truly in contention for the big trophy as 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona champion. When he finished that stint, he was sifting through the wreckage of what might have been.

Butch Leitzinger.
Photo by John Thawley.
Taking over from Jimmie Johnson after sun-up, Leitzinger was doing what professional race drivers do many more times than they drive to victory lane - he was helping his teammates mop up.

Mop up? Make the most you can of a poor situation without making it any worse. After all, with four hours to go and only four cars ahead of you - well ahead of you - some of your bad luck could rub off. Not likely, and not expected, but weirder things have happened. After all, this IS a 24- hour race.

But all that happened for Leitzinger was an hour of clicking off 1:50s, followed by a second hour clicking off 1:50s with a 39.181sec full-service pit stop in between. The middle stop came under caution and another wave-by from the pace car put the No. 4 just 13 laps adrift the No. 10 Pontiac Riley and the No. 20 Howard-Boss Pontiac Crawford.

At the end of his second and final stint, Leitzinger turned the racecar over to Elliott Forbes-Robinson during a 45.874sec stop. Butch walked around the pit stall, smiling and shaking hands with a crew that was obviously proud of how their driver had raced their car.

"Yeah, I'm probably done for the race," he said. "Really my only thought right now is that the tires are really a contention. From one set to the next is really a lottery what you get. That last set, my tires went off probably halfway through the stint. The 10 car I could see had good tires all the way through it. It's just the luck of the draw, and that's not how the racing should be."

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 , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Bill King