Western Colorado Dragway season all revved up and running

Matt Jones does a wheelie in his yellow Chevrolet Camaro as he accelerates from the starting line during his race against Jerry LeBleu and his Camero during a race at Western Colorado Dragway on Saturday.

Joy Cozzette is a kind, gentle grandmother, but you might think twice about racing her.

The Grand Junction woman won the first National Hot Rod Association Summit Racing Series Division 7 race of the season Saturday night at Western Colorado Dragway and moved into first place in the Batteries Plus Pro ET season-points race at the local track on Whitewater Hill.

Cozzette, who won a track points title last year in her third season, beat her husband, John, en route to the final. She beat Chris Warner in the final.

“I was just lucky,” she said. “It was a good night.

“We have such a small track, you always end up racing your friend. You eventually race your spouse, but I don’t give in to him.”

Both acknowledged she has won as many head-to-head races as he has.

“She’s tough,” John said. “I taught her too well, I guess.”

This is the third year the husband and wife are competing in the same class.

“It’s too difficult being in different classes,” John said. “It works well except when we run against each other.”

Joy’s wins may cost her, she joked.

“John does all the wrenching on the car,” Joy said. “He keeps saying one of these days he’s going to fix it so it doesn’t run so well.”

Joy has put together consistent elapsed-time runs a tad over 10 seconds.

She has a five-point lead over Jeremy Styers and Warner for the season-points title.

She also is in first place at the track in the Summit Racing Series Division 7 points race. Three more races are scheduled this summer. The points winner after the four races qualifies for the Summit Racing Series Division 7 finals Sept. 20-22 in Las Vegas. Each division champion receives a trophy and travel expenses to attend the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 10-13.

“I’m hoping I can make a good showing for that,” Joy said.

Bud Pruess won the Midway Super Pro race Saturday night, defeating his son Brett in the final.

Bud moved into a tie for the season-points lead with Cindy Moore of Idaho Springs.

Trent Dinkel of Rifle closed the gap in the season points in the Crown Supply Sportsman Class with a win Saturday night. Dinkel defeated Scott Minturn of Rifle in the final.

Jeri Arbaney leads the points race, followed by Dinkel and Tim Griffith.

Ryan Marshall won the Youth Alternatives Junior Dragsters race Saturday and is fourth in the points standings. Mikayla Vollender leads the season points with 240. Violet Bambino is second with 215. Caleb Nowlin is third with 200.

Kart Racing

The Colorado National Guard edged out the U.S. Army to win the Racing for Heroes event Saturday at Grand Junction Motor Speedway.

The National Guard and Army tied with 61 laps completed in the 45-minute team race. The National Guard won by tiebreaker with the fastest lap. It received a $200 donation to give to a charity of its choice, which is Toys for Tiny Soldiers.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Junction Police Department and Grand Junction Fire Department participated in the event that recognized the military and emergency-medical technicians.

Race organizer Craig Mansfield started the event three years ago in honor of his son, Senior Airman Kristopher Mansfield, who was killed by a drunk driver eight years ago.


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