WEEDSPORT, N.Y. — Three drivers have been selected for induction into the DIRTcar Hall of Fame this year.
Frank Cozze, Mike McLaughlin and pioneer driver Blackie Watt will be honored June 4.
Cozze’s accomplishments are well documented throughout the northeast. Based in Wind Gap, Pa., Frank produced numerous modified victories in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Under the DIRT banner he has recorded 43 big-block feature wins and four additional small block wins. His biggest victory coming during Super DIRT Week XXXVI, in 2008, taking his first big block feature win at Syracuse.
McLaughlin fits in the same mold as Jim Hurtibise. Starting his racing career on the dirt at Waterloo’s Maple Grove Speedway, McLaughlin earned his first DIRT big block feature win in 1979 at the Land of Legends, Canandaigua Speedway. After a stellar dirt modified career McLaughlin moved on to the NASCAR Modified circuit were he won 16 races and took the NASCAR Modified Championship title in 1988. He then added an additional 7 wins in the NASCAR K&N Eastern series. In 1989 he attempted his first NASCAR Bush (Nationwide) Series start. After 17 years behind the wheel of the NASCAR Busch (Nationwide) Series cars he accumulated six wins and five poles.
Watt concentrated his driving in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. While Watt drove in a number of what were referred to a “bugs” and “cut down” car events, he is well documents behind the wheel of the Pitkavish ’37 Chevy modified. Watt dominated the Lernerville Speedway non-point Super DIRT Series events, winning three times. He competed at Super DIRT Week twice, having finished 37th in the very first running of the race. Watt has nearly 144 modified feature wins to his name.