Mid-Ohio: Howard-Boss Motorsports race report

BOSS Snowplow Racing Team Fifth In EMCO Gears Classic Wallace, Leitzinger earn fourth top-five of '06 Rolex Series season Lexington, OH . Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger co-piloted the ...

BOSS Snowplow Racing Team Fifth In EMCO Gears Classic

Wallace, Leitzinger earn fourth top-five of '06 Rolex Series season

Lexington, OH . Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger co-piloted the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford to a fifth-place finish in the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday evening. The strong performance by the Howard-Boss Motorsports Team was their second consecutive fifth-place finish and fourth top-five finish of the 2006 Rolex Series season.

The annual visit to the beautiful Mid-Ohio course began with a promoter test day on Thursday. However, it was not the testing on the track that made the news. A horrific rainstorm hit the Lexington, Ohio area on Thursday afternoon, causing extensive damage to several tents, hospitality areas, and haulers. Fortunately, the weekend schedule was not affected and practice and qualifying resumed on Friday.

Butch Leitzinger was selected to qualify the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford in the afternoon qualifying session on Friday. The veteran road racer responded with a fast lap of 1:21.405 / 99.856 mph to earn the ninth starting position for the 250-mile race. However, after post-qualifying tech inspection, three Daytona Prototypes ( #12, #76, #01) were disqualified and forced to start the race from the rear of the field. As a result, the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford would start sixth.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was recently repaved, but the toughness and hard to pass reputation still remained. Leitzinger ran very competitive laps early in the race, and by lap 25 had moved up to the fourth position. He would gain one more position before making his first pit stop of the race on lap forty under caution.

During this stop, the BOSS Snowplow crew serviced their Pontiac Crawford with new tires and a full fuel load. Also, the team made a driver change with Andy Wallace taking over the controls. Wallace would restart in the sixth position on lap 46.

During the next twenty-two laps, Wallace would engage in a "spirited" battle for the fourth through sixth position. When a full course caution waved on lap 72, Wallace came to the pits for service and rejoined the race in ninth. Over the ensuing fifteen laps, Wallace worked traffic like a master and steadily gained position after position. He was running fifth when the caution waved for an serious accident involving a GT car on lap 97. With the accident requiring major cleanup and the two hour forty-five minute time limit also a factor, the race ended under caution.

"The BOSS Snowplow car was pretty good, the yellows were just unkind to us today," Andy Wallace stated after the event. "The team had a great plan and had the green gone longer, our results would have been very different. Overall, I was happy with the car, and the engine was a really competitive package."

Co-driver Butch Leitzinger echoed Wallace's comments.

"During practice on Friday, I slid off course and ran into the mud," Leitzinger added. "The BOSS Snowplow team worked really hard and they were able to dig us out of the hole I put them in and get us back to racing level. Today, our car was really competitive. All we need now is just luck."

"We made a gamble on the fuel today," Crew Chief Catherine Wallace offered. "Our strategy would have worked, but we were unfortunate and there were too many yellows. But, that's just hindsight. We ended up with a pretty good race car and it was nice to be racing again since we have been struggling for a while. Hopefully, our luck will turn around in Daytona."

The BOSS Snowplow Racing Team has a quick turnaround this week with the next event, the Brumos Porsche 250 at the Daytona International Speedway, set for a 7 PM ET start on Thursday, June 29th. The tenth race of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series will be televised live by SPEED TV. With the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford the defending champion of this event, look for Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger battling for their first win of the season on Thursday evening

-hbm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , Catherine Wallace