Wallace, Leitzinger Fifth in Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen BOSS Snowplow Team battles to third top-five finish of season Watkins Glen, NY (June 3, 2006) . The ...
Wallace, Leitzinger Fifth in Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen
BOSS Snowplow Team battles to third top-five finish of season
Watkins Glen, NY (June 3, 2006) . The #4 BOSS Snowplow Racing Team overcame several obstacles to record a fifth-place finish in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen on Saturday evening. The finish was the third top-five of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Series season.
The weekend was disrupted on Thursday due to a legal issue between one of the Rolex Series competitors and the series. Grand American was forced to cancel Daytona Prototype practice on Thursday while the issues were being resolved in the courtroom. The schedule for Friday was also adjusted with qualifying cancelled and three practice sessions made available for the DP teams. The starting grid would be set by team points according to the Rolex Series rulebook; therefore, the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford would start from the tenth position.
Andy Wallace was chosen to start the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen for the Howard-Boss Motorsports Team. Wallace reported to the crew that his Pontiac Crawford was very loose in the high speed corners and he was going to take it easy during the early stages of the event. On lap thirteen, Wallace made his first pit stop of the race under caution. The BOSS Snowplow Team topped off the fuel and Wallace rejoined the race.
The second caution of the race came on lap 20 with Wallace running in the 16th-position. During this caution, several of the leaders choose to pit and Wallace moved up to tenth for the restart. With rain starting to become an issue, some of the leaders began pitting for "wets" around lap 36. However, Wallace stayed on course and moved to the fourth position. When a full course caution waved on lap 38, Wallace, running third at the time, made a pit stop for tires and fuel. The veteran road racer would restart ninth on lap 44.
Wallace would drop to the 17th position on lap 50, but four laps later would turn the second fastest lap of any car on the course. Wallace's charge back to the front continued, and by lap 57, he had moved up to the fifth position. In the next six laps, Wallace would run as high as second before pitting under caution on lap 63 for a driver change and fuel.
Butch Leitzinger took command of the BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford at this point and restarted in sixth. However, a problem with the radio communication between the crew and Leitzinger developed as well as the increase in rain. Leitzinger came to the attention of his BOSS Snowplow crew on lap 69 for "wets" (rain tires) and to fix the radio problem. He would restart in 18th, but race his way back into the top ten by lap 84.
Several laps later, some of the leaders made stops for tires and fuel under caution; however, Leitzinger remained on course and moved up to the sixth position. On lap 100, Leitzinger was running fifth, 26.3 seconds behind the leader. Leitzinger remained in fifth when he came to pit road on lap 111 for a driver change fuel, and tires. Andy Wallace would climb aboard the Pontiac Crawford and restart in the tenth position.
During the next twenty-five laps, Wallace would climb to third. The question of fuel became an issue at this point. The #23 and #39 cars ventured off course in the "interloop" and caution waved on lap 134. After much discussion, Wallace made a quick trip to pit road for a splash of fuel on lap 137. Now running fifth and the final car on the lead lap, Wallace was set to race to the finish. However, the deficit was too great to overcome and Wallace brought the BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford home in the fifth position.
"We had some problems early in the race, but battled through them to post a top-five finish," Leitzinger commented. "The team did a great job on our pit stops, and the strategy we used worked to our favor as well. Andy (Wallace) did a wonderful job during difficult conditions. All-in-all, a fifth is a good day considering all we had to endure."
"The BOSS Snowplow team battled all day," Wallace added. "We were up and down, but our strategy staying with the "dry tires" helped us in the long run. Of course, we wanted a podium, but the effort given by everyone today to finish fifth is a positive for our team. We needed a good finish and this was a very tough race, but a strong run is something we can build on."
The next race for the #4 BOSS Snowplow Team is the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, June 24th. The 250-mile event is set for a 5:30 PM start on the 24th.