By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
WIND GAP -- After two years of tackling the 410 winged sprint car capitol of the world, Frank Cozze is back to his modified roots, where he forged a hall of fame career.
On Tuesday, Cozze was inducted into the DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame.
"All the really good guys are in there and I'm still racing," he said. "Everyone on the wall is not racing and there's a lot of history there so I am glad to be part of it."
Cozze, the son of long-time car owner and driver Richard "Dick" Cozze, returned to the modified ranks after racing a 410 sprint car at both Port Royal and Williams Grove Speedways.
He is driving this year for long-time car owner Norm Hansell in the ultra-competitive dual-track 358 dirt modified circuit of both Big Diamond Speedway (Friday) and Grandview Speedway (Saturday).
"The problem with the 410 was that I started too late," he said despite winning at Port Royal last year. "I wasn't going to get a ride at 55 (now 57) and it was not a question of going from modifieds to 410s, but I should have run the 358 sprint cars for a year or two first. I hadn't sat in a sprint car since I last ran one 30 years ago in 1989, but, we jumped in with two feet. We made some gains last year. You have to have a lot of faith in racing a sprint car that when you get to the end of the straightaway and your foot is flat on the floor, the car will turn left."
Cozze started "racing" cars at the age 9 in the cornfields behind his father's salvage yard in Jutland, N.J.
"We didn't have go-karts or quarter-midget clubs back then," he noted. "We went out and raced and had fun."