Breakout Year for Peter Cozzolino
Salem, IN (December 11, 2001) – After placing 12th in the ASA standings in 1998, Peter Cozzolino relocated to Indianapolis, IN, and launched a career in the Kendall Late Model Series. Driving the A &A Manufacturing Chevrolet, he won Hubler Group Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 in only his second season in stock car racing. The following season he continued to improve on the Indiana-based circuit and in 2001 experienced a career year with three wins, four poles and finishing third in the final standings behind Brian Ross and Scott Hantz.
Cozzolino started the 2001 season on a tear winning his first career KLMS event at the season opener at Anderson Speedway. He dominated leading all 150 laps and followed that up with a victory at Salem in the third race of the season.
The 31-year-old Cozzolino was able to record three consecutive Contractors Underground Pole Awards at Winchester, Salem and Angola speedways and won his third event of the season at historic Winchester Speedway.
The Avon, IN, resident recorded his fourth pole award at Indianapolis Raceway Park in the Key Advantage 125 at the season finale. This allowed Cozzolino to close within 15 points of Brian Ross on the eve of the final race of the 2001 season. After the top six qualifiers were inverted it placed Cozzolino on the outside of the third row. A lap two incident knocked Cozzolino out of championship contention after spending several laps in the pit area. He finished 24th dropping him from second to third in the final point standings.
“I’m happy with the season we had in 2001, “ said Cozzolino “We met or surpassed all of our team goals. It was unfortunate what happened at the season finale, but we still had a great season.”
In 2002, Cozzolino will be competing in 12 events in the ASA Racing Series and will also run several shows with the KLMS.
“I’m really looking forward to moving back to ASA next year. We decided to only run 12 races, so we are fully prepared for each event. It’ll be fun to run long distance races with pit stops. We are looking at next season as a transition year, but we still plan to run some races with the Kendall Series.”
Cozzolino on the KLMS: “I want to thank the Kendall Late Model Series for the experience of racing in the series. It has grown a tremendous amount the last three years and I learned a lot of information that will hopefully create a successful career in ASA. I also want to thank the Cozzolino Motorsports team for all of their hard work in 2001!”
Cozzolino will make his 2002 ASA debut at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL on March 24. The 200-lap event will be live on TNN Sports.