Sorting Out Strategy By Bill King At the drop of the green flag, Butch Leitzinger slotted The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford in eighth, where he'd qualified the car Thursday. Leitzinger then settled in ninth and set...
Sorting Out Strategy
By Bill King
At the drop of the green flag, Butch Leitzinger slotted The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford in eighth, where he'd qualified the car Thursday. Leitzinger then settled in ninth and set about running in the 1:50.5 range, a pace the team had determined for the early going.
Fourteen laps in, a caution caused by the Sebastien Bourdais, set off radio chatter from the Howard-Boss CITGO No. 20 teamcar (Andy Wallace, Jan Lammers and Tony Stewart). Wallace, the Crawford test driver, expressed concern about tire performance, saying he'd lost considerable grip after eight laps and wanted to discuss pitting to change rubber not halfway through the first fuel run. Max Crawford nixed that, saying they'd run out of tires changing that often. Wallace agreed to tough it out.
Many of the front-runners checked into their pits, including the No. 2 teamcar with Dario Franchitti up that did change tires.
Leitzinger said nothing about his tires and stayed out. Butch did report that he was having to back off near the start/finish line when running in a pack to keep from bouncing the rev limiter.
At the green on Lap 19, Wallace had the race lead with Leitzinger second. Butch then settled in fourth running in a conservative 1:52.0 range to his first fuel stop at Lap 34.
After Wallace had pitted the 20 car from the lead, Leitzinger brought the No. 4 in for its initial service - four tires, fuel, no problems, didn't even need to clean the windscreen in 47.56-seconds - and returned to the track in 16th overall and ahead of Wallace.
Due to the number of cars that pitted at Lap 14, the front of the pack is already off sequence on its pit stops. The No. 4 and the No. 20 are two of very few cars that ran the full complement of laps on their first outing.
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