Wallace, Leitzinger Score First Podium of Season with Second in Sonoma 250 BOSS Snowplow Team challenges for win in series debut at Infineon Sonoma, CA (August 26, 2006) . Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger piloted the ...
Wallace, Leitzinger Score First Podium of Season with Second in Sonoma 250
BOSS Snowplow Team challenges for win in series debut at Infineon
Sonoma, CA (August 26, 2006) . Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger piloted the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford to their first podium finish of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Series season with a strong second-place finish in the Sonoma 250 on Saturday afternoon. The third-year Howard-Boss Motorsports showed why they are considered one of the top teams in the Rolex Series with their best performance of the season in the debut of the Daytona Prototype cars at the Infineon Raceway near Sonoma, California.
After a series of practice sessions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, Butch Leitzinger was chosen to qualifying the potent BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford. The veteran road racer responded with a fast lap of 1:28.954 / 101.985 mph to earn the seventh starting position for the 250- mile event.
Leitzinger quickly showed that his Pontiac Crawford was going to be a contender for their first victory of the 2006 season when he moved from seventh to third by lap eight. On lap 20, Leitzinger moved to second, 12.6 seconds behind leader Jan Magnussen. When a full course caution waved on lap 23, Leitzinger was scored the race leader. It was the first lap that the #4 BOSS Snowplow Team has led this season.
Leitzinger made is first pit stop of the day during this caution for fuel and tires only. He would restart the race in second on lap 27. Leitzinger would continue to run second and keep the race leading car #10 in sight until he made his second stop on lap 73. The 10 car also pitted this lap, and the #4 was scored the leader of the race on lap 73.
During this stop, Leitzinger turned the driving duties over to teammate Andy Wallace. The BOSS Snowplow crew had a tremendous pit stop and got their driver back in action in the second position. The #01 piloted by Scott Pruett was on a different pit sequence and assumed the led during this green-flag stop by Leitzinger. When Wallace returned to the track, he trailed Pruett by 31.7 seconds. However, Pruett would need to make a stop for fuel before the end of the event.
Wallace kept charging, knowing that Pruett had to make another pit stop. On lap 88, Pruett came to pit road for a quick "splash" of fuel, and returned to the race still in the lead.
On lap 90, a full course caution bunched the field for a final ten minute dash to the checkers. Wallace, starting in second, quickly moved past the lapped car #60 and set his sights on Pruett. However, the laps ran out and Wallace crossed the finish line in second, 2.2 seconds behind Pruett.
"I'm very happy to be on the podium today," Wallace commented after the race. "You can't predict when the cautions will come, and our team strategy worked very well. Butch (Leitzinger) did a fantastic job avoiding all the trouble and keeping the pressure on the leaders. I just couldn't catch Scott (Pruett) there at the end. After the year we've had, it feels great to get on the podium."
"It's about time," Leitzinger added. "The start of the race was great. There was a train of us running nose to tail, then three cars had a problem and I moved to third. The BOSS Snowplow crew did an outstanding job and put us ahead of the 10 car. Andy (Wallace) drove the wheels off at the end, and it was very exciting to watch."
The Rolex Series now moves to the inaugural race at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah for the season finale. Wallace and Leitzinger will challenge the competitive Rolex Series field in the nine-hour event in search of their first victory of the 2006 season. And, after their performance at Infineon, look for this veteran team to be in the thick of the battle for the win.
The Discount Tire SunChaser nine-hour race will get the green flag at 2 pm ET on Saturday, September 2nd. SPEED TV will provide live coverage of the season finale for the Rolex Series in two segments, 2 pm and 8:30 pm.