Forbes-Robinson Re-cooks a Set of Hoosiers By Bill King When Elliott Forbes-Robinson climbed into The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard- Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford after Butch Leitzinger's brilliant stint, he found himself running fifth, some...
Forbes-Robinson Re-cooks a Set of Hoosiers
By Bill King
When Elliott Forbes-Robinson climbed into The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard- Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford after Butch Leitzinger's brilliant stint, he found himself running fifth, some 27sec behind the leader.
No worries. The cars in front of him were part of that second set of leading cars that had separated themselves by exercising different early strategies, a half dozen quick cars having pitted on Lap 14. The Crawfords had stayed out along with the No. 10 Pontiac Riley and the Nos. 02 and 03 Lexus Rileys.
As the four cars in front of him pealed off for their routine pit stops, the No. 4 car moved up the leader board, taking the point on Lap 305, just at the point where crew chief Catherine Crawford called him into the pits. A full course caution a half dozen laps later resulted in Forbes-Robinson again assuming the point.
Once the pace car had sorted out the field, only four cars remained on the lead lap, EFR on point followed by the No. 02 (Jamie McMurray up, some 10sec back), the 10 car (Wayne Taylor behind the wheel) and EFR's Howard- Boss No. 20 teamcar with Jan Lammers aboard.
On the restart, Forbes-Robinson dropped the hammer, there being only 15 laps remaining before he had to pit for service and hand the car off to Jimmie Johnson. A withering series of low 1:49sec laps put paid to any challenge and EFR brought the No. 4 in on Lap 319 with a solid 5sec lead.
Jimmie Johnson was away in fourth after a fine 48.596sec stop and driver change.
About his sudden turn of speed, Forbes-Robinson said, "We'd been running back in the pack where it's not important to cut hot laps. When we were were up front, it was important to stay there. So I picked it up a little bit.
"The other is that I had a set of tires that I knew I only had 20 laps to go on and they were cooled down," he explained. "So I figured I could go on them and not use them up in the 20 laps."
Asked if he thought he'd made a statement with that stint, Forbes-Robinson said, "The car was working good, but really and truly it was the fact that I wasn't really worried about saving the tires anymore, because normally you're just trying to get them to the end of your stint. This time, they told me that as long as the tires felt good to just go for it."
He did, putting the 4 car in a strong position at the 11th hour.
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