September 5, 2004

Cozze takes 100

WEST HAVEN, VT -  A lot of visitors head to Vermont in September to view the fall foliage. Frank Cozze made the trip to see the green.

The Wind Gap, Pa., driver made his only visit of the year to Devil’s Bowl Speedway pay off Sunday night, as he dominated the competition to win the 100.

Cozze made the trek to Devil’s Bowl for the Run What Ya Brung race last fall and fell in love with the native Vermont clay. At that time, he said he would try to get to the Bowl at least once a year, and he was true to his word Sunday. The trip was obviously worth it, as he went home with $3,000.

Cozze was quick all night, setting the second fastest time in time trials, stopping the clock in 17.370 seconds. Only Frank Hoard Sr. was faster, setting fast time of 17.333.

Following the heat races, the fans voted to invert the top 14 cars for the 100-lapper, which put Ray Hoard and Jimmy Ryan, both previous winners at the Bowl this season, on the front row, and they set the tone for the night, running side-by-side for the first 15 laps of the feature and swapping the lead like kids trade baseball cards.

Hoard led the first six laps, but Ryan moved into the lead the next time around. But he only led one lap, as Hoard regained the advantage on lap eight.

Ryan made another good move to go back on front on lap 10, but again, Hoard put the hammer down, and the next time around, was back in the lead.

But the whole time the two Vermont drivers were battling back and forth, Cozze was sitting like a hungry lion, ready to pounce on his prey. Cozze had started third, and sat right behind the leaders for the first 15 laps. But he was already running quicker times, and eventually went by both Ryan and Hoard to snatch the lead.

The first caution of the night came out on lap 34 when Chris Vernold spun in turn two. When green flag racing resumed, Ronnie Johnson, who had set the fourth fastest time of the night in time trials, pulled into the pits with mechanical problems.

With Cozze comfortably in front, all eyes were now on veteran Bob Savoie. Savoie, who recently picked up the ride in the Jerry Sampson-owned small block, had started 12th in the field, but steadily worked his way to the front, and moved into the No. 3 position on lap 30 when Ryan drifted high in the second turn.

Mike Perrotte and Hoard kept the fans entertained with a whale of a battle for third, dicing back and forth, while Savoie did his best to catch Cozze.

The field regrouped on lap 68 when CVRA Line-X Modified rookie Mike Tholin had something let go in his car. But the rest of the 100-lapper was run under green, allowing Cozze to pull away and finish with a huge 6.752-second margin of victory over Savoie.

Savoie’s run was his best finish at the Bowl since July 2, 2000, when he finished second to Tim Laduc. The final long run of green stretched the leaders out, as Perrotte was over two seconds ahead of Hoard at the finish line, getting the No. 3 position. Laduc finished fifth. Completing the top 10 were Vince Quenneville Jr., Gene Munger, Don Scarborough, Frank Hoard Sr. and Todd Stone.

Elmer Montville Jr. again proved to be untouchable in the Pro-Built mini-stock feature. Montville finished with a 2.340 second victory over Matt Depew for his eighth consecutive win in the support division. Montville has now been to victory lane in nine of the 11 features run in the Pro-Built division at the Bowl this season.

Depew had the first four-cylinder car across the finish line. Brittany Ladd finished third, followed by Jamie McCarthy and Heather Combs. Montville had the only six-cylinder car in the top five.

Adam Piper picked up the victory in the Duke Stock division.

Devil’s Bowl will be holding its final event of the 2004 season on Sunday, with all divisions in action on Championship Weekend. The CVRA 358 modifieds will be running a 40-lap feature, and double points will be awarded in all divisions, leading to the crowning of the 2004 track champions. Pit gates will open at 3:30, grandstand gates will open at 4:30 and racing will begin at 6 p.m.

The rain date for Championship Weekend is Sunday, Sept. 19.

CVRA.COM 100: FRANK COZZE, Bob Savoie, Mike Perrotte, Ray Hoard, Tim Laduc, Vince Quenneville Jr., Gene Munger, Don Scarborough, Frank Hoard Sr., Todd Stone, C.V. Elms, Jim Ryan, Chad Miller, Brian Whittemore Neal Erickson, Ken Anatriello, Mike Tholin, Matt DeLorenzo, Cass Bennett, Ronnie Johnson, Chris Vernold, Lance Harting.

TIME TRIALS: Frank Hoard Sr. 17.333, Frank Cozze 17.370, Mike Perrotte 17.391, Ronnie Johnson 17.405, Ray Hoard 17.460, Matt DeLorenzo 17.570, Don Scarborough 17.681, Tim Laduc 17.682, Gene Munger 17.725, Todd Stone 17.726, Ron Proctor, 17.790, Bob Savoie 17.794, Jim Ryan 17.837, Vince Quenneville Jr. 17.843, Chad Miller 17.870, Chris Vernold 17.973, C.V. Elms 17.973, Lance Harting 18.026, Brian Whittemore 18.037, Mike Tholin 18.094, Neal Erickson 18.195, Stan Lemiesz 18.302, Cass Bennett 18.915, Ken Anatriello NT.

PRO-BUILT MINI-MINI STOCKS: ELMER MONTVILLE JR., Matt Depew, Brittany Ladd, Jamie McCarthy, Heather Combs, Charles Burns, Art Howe, Jeremy Brownell, Tim Whitney, Bobbi Jo Bean, Jason Bishop, Joe Baker, Mike Pope, Amanda Clemens, Chris Cary Jr.