MARNE, MI -- Indianapolis driver Peter Cozzolino held off a hard charging Kevin Cywinski to become the first Indiana driver to win an ASA event at the famed Berlin Raceway Saturday in the Meijer 250 presented by BFGoodrich Tires. Cozzolino, in...
MARNE, MI -- Indianapolis driver Peter Cozzolino held off a hard charging Kevin Cywinski to become the first Indiana driver to win an ASA event at the famed Berlin Raceway Saturday in the Meijer 250 presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
Cozzolino, in the A&A Manufacturing/McDonald's Chevrolet, won his first ASA race at Indianapolis Raceway Park in June and Berlin marks his second victory in just three races.
He took the lead on lap 194 with an inside pass of pole sitter Robbie Pyle in the CITGO Chevrolet. Cozzolino then survived four restarts over the final 56 laps to post the win.
Cozzolino survived a two-lap shoot out with Cywinski in the SK Hand Tool Chevrolet and Chris Wimmer in the Wimmer Racing Chevrolet to win by 0.478 seconds. Three-time ASA Champion Butch Miller in the Timber Wolf Chevrolet and Toby Porter in the Meijer Chevrolet rounded out the top five.
A dramatic green-white-checker finish was set up when Mike Garvey in the Jani-King Chevrolet and Pyle made heavy contact in Turn 3 while battling with Wimmer for a podium finish. The incident also collected $50,000 Rookie candidates Travis Kittleson and Kris Stump.
Cozzolino got the jump on Cywinski and never looked back to the delight of the Berlin Raceway throng.
"The car was awesome," said Cozzolino after the collecting the win. "I didn't want to see those final cautions because we last stopped on lap 138. I knew Kevin (Cywinski) was coming but I thought I had enough left to hold him off.
"I'm more excited about this win," he said after collecting $13,255. "It took about a week for the win at IRP to sink in."
Cywinski gained seven points on Miller and now leads by 79 markers in the battle for the ASA championship with six races remaining in the 2003 season.
The Wisconsin driver survived an incident on lap 135 when Davin Scites and Chad Wood spun in Turn 1 while battling for fourth.
"We had a good car," said Cywinski. "I got turned around when the 06 (Scites) and 2 (Wood) got together, which put us back a little in our strategy. I didn't want to pit, but the car developed a vibration and we had to stop earlier then we planned."
Wimmer recorded his first podium finish and was just ahead of the Garvey and Pyle incident with two laps remaining.
"I'm real excited for the crew," he said. "We were not good at all in the first practice and I talked to Gary St. Amant, which really helped me out. The crew did a good job in making the changes to the car.
"The car was so good early in the race that wanted to get to the front," said Wimmer. "At the finish we were able to put together a strong run on the high side."
The driver to watch for much of the event was Rich Bickle in the Wood Brothers Racing Chevrolet as several times he came back up through the field after making pit stops and was in a position to challenge for the win on lap 232 when disaster struck.
Bickle was running sixth when the engine on his Chevrolet let go, dumping fluids in Turn three and collecting the lead lap cars of rookies Davin Scites and Kris Stump, who was having his best run of the year.
There were a total of 14 lead changes among seven different drivers and the race was slowed a total of 11 times for 68 laps.
Gary St. Amant in The Medicine Shoppe Chevrolet had his best run of the season driving to a 10th place finish, despite being caught up in the Garvey-Pyle incident in Turn 3.
Georgia's Reed Sorenson in the ACDelco Chevrolet extended his lead over Travis Kittleson in the Bob Steele Chevrolet to 178 in the battle for the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year chase. Sorenson finished eighth and Kittleson came home in 18th.
The ASA Racing Series travels to Jennerstown Speedway in Jennerstown Pa., on August 16 for the running of the Pennsylvania 250. The race will be telecast live on the Speed Channel starting at 7:30 p.m. (EDT).