4 car diary - Rolex 24, What Happened?

Are We Happy with Second? By Bill King So what are the obvious questions The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford squad will be addressing Monday back at team headquarters in Denver, N.C.? While all the various racecar...

Are We Happy with Second?
By Bill King

So what are the obvious questions The Boss Snowplow No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford squad will be addressing Monday back at team headquarters in Denver, N.C.? While all the various racecar bits are being scrutinized, the team will try to pinpoint what preventable human errors were made during the 43rd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona? And would it have made any difference, considering that the No. 10 Sun Trust Pontiac Riley ran a virtually mistake-free race?

Answers: not many, none major and probably not.

Could Jimmie Johnson have better anticipated the erratic behavior of that Porsche driver and avoided the spin that might have precipitated some of the later problems, like the broken header and the damaged drive shaft?

Answer: Not likely. More road racing experience might make Johnson more wanker-aware, but that's not a relevant issue for this race.

Could Butch Leitzinger have avoided the rubber pick-up that threw a wheel out of balance, made him think he had a puncture and ultimately led to the nosepiece louver damage.

Answer: Butch said he wasn't off-line, so there was nothing to connect pick- up to tire feel in his mind. Feels like a flat; must be a flat.

Could Elliott Forbes-Robinson have recognized that what he thought was the low fuel light was in reality the IPU light indicating an error in the engine management system, which needed resetting?

Answer: Perhaps, but not likely, especially in a dark cockpit.

Getting boxed in behind your teammate during a pitstop? Fumbling with the HANS device during a driver change?

Answers: Perhaps a little practice and/or anticipation would help. Little harm; no foul.

Not having the complete complement of tools in the garage to fix all the stuff they found wrong during Leitzinger's half-hour hiatus?

Answer: Well, the mechanics brought the tools to fix the header, the obvious problem found in the pit stall. The other problems were discovered as they worked on the header. Short of having two complete sets of tools and spares - one set for the pits and one for the garage, plus a spare crewman to guard the stuff in the garage - they did the best they could, successfully accomplishing a mammoth amount of repairs in half an hour. Of course, Crawford could always build an Audi A8 quick-change rear section for the car. rrriiiggghhhttt.

The truth? This team performed on the edge of perfection for 24 hours. It was a supreme effort by drivers, crew and engineers. They just were dealt a couple of bad hands. Eight times in 10, the 4 car wins this race.

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