Mike Gular won the 358 spec sealed modified feature last weekend at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania. The victory featured him (2A) battling one of his childhood heroes, Frank Cozze (401).
Three weeks earlier, Gular and Cozze dueled during the season finale at New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey.
“Frank passed me with one to go — he won by a tire,” said Gular, of Frederick, Pennsylvania. “I could remember cheering Frank on at the Syracuse Mile when he won Super Dirt Week XXXVII [in 2008]. After all, he is a Pennsylvania guy. I never, ever, thought I would be at the level where I would be racing against him, let alone battling him for the win. It was an honor.”
At BAPS Motor Speedway last weekend, Gular once again had the pleasure of competing with Cozze.
“Frank was leading and we managed to get by him for the win,” Gular said. “We raced clean, and it was a thrill for me. I’m racing with legends in the world of dirt modified racing, and Frank is one of them. I used to watch these racers from a distance. Now, I’m talking with them at the tracks we race at.”
Mike Gular said he grew up admiring drivers such as Cozze, Billy Decker, Jeff Strunk, and Craig Von Dohren. Now Gular not only races and converses with them — he’s beat them several times. He started off the season with a win in January. It came during the Short Track Super Series’ Sunshine Swing event at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida.
Gular followed that up with more victories.
Two at Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. One at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania. And, one at New Egypt Speedway (where he also won the track championship).
However, his $5,000-to-win victory at BAPS Motor Speedway last weekend will resonate throughout the winter.
“It’s a huge win,” said Gular. “You want to end a season with a win because you are only as good as your last race. That win keeps you on top of your game all through the off-season, and gives you momentum for the new year.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.