The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 6, 2013

Motorsports: Cozze returns to modified roots

(Continued)

Cozze finally won the 200-lapper in 2008. He started 33rd in the filed that day and had a lot of luck go his way.

"We needed cautions to come and they came; guys who were battling me either ran out of gas or blew up," he said. "It is a fun place to race at as there are places where you can pass and places where you can pass but you put yourself in a really bad spot. We start preparing for the race in July and people don't realize how expensive it is for the week."

Cozze won the first of his two Eastern States 200-lap features at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., in 1989, 30 years after Tasnady won it for his dad in 1969. Cozze's second win came in 1990.

This year, Cozze has a win on May 17 at Big Diamond where he is sixth in the points entering tonight's race. He is fourth in the points at Grandview.

"We're as good as anybody, but not as great as a few of them," he said. "We've been a top-three or -four car every week. We're close; we're not far off."

Cozze credits the teams success to owner Hansell and crew chief Jay Thomas.

"Jay's a real good crew chief and Norm's a great owner," he said. "They know the race tracks well. It has been a good relationship so far. They are hard-working people who are dedicated to racing, and while we hadn't had the success we want we'll get it."

"There's a little more contact at those tracks than I am used to and I know the guys by name, but I don't know their driving habits yet."

A recent conversation with Hansell revealed Cozze's desire to race Syracuse this year. "We had the big block out at Bridgeport the other week and we were leading with three laps to go and got a flat tire," Cozze said. "The car felt good the first time out."

After his son's first big-block race in '76, Dick Cozze asked him what he thought.

"I didn't qualify and I said I have no idea with all of this power. Budd Olsen said to me, 'You'll get the hang of it."

Nearly four decades later, thanks to advice from his heroes, Frank Cozze can still drive the wheels off a modified.

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