WATERFORD – By all indications, Keith Rocco and Kyle James have had the two most consistently fast cars in the SK Modified division at the Waterford Speedbowl in 2014.
Saturday the fans at the Waterford Speedbowl finally got to see them in their first head-to-head showdown of the season.
Rocco, of Wallingford, came out on top of a mid-race side-by-side duel for the lead with James and then went on to win the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.
James, of Ashaway, R.I., was second and Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. third
After a side-by-battle for seven laps at the front, Rocco cleared James for the lead with 15 laps remaining.
“We had a real good car on the restarts and all the way through the race,” Rocco said. “What a class act Kyle James is. I think we ran side-by-side for six or eight laps. That’s fun racing and that’s how it should be down here.
“Tonight was really the first night I got to race side-by-side with him all year. It was a lot of fun. He did what he had to do. He used up a little bit of racetrack and I pushed back a little bit, and it was awesome racing. It was a lot of fun. I wish I could race like that every week for the win.”
Said James: “We had a good restart the first time [against Rocco], the second time he got me a little bit and once he gets the line it’s really tough. I don’t want to go in there and wash him up and be dirty. We’ll take a second after getting wrecked last week.”
It was the fourth victory in nine SK Modified features this year at Waterford for Rocco. He has four seconds and a third in the other five events.
“Those are pretty good numbers,” Rocco said. “I’m really happy with it. It makes my job a lot easier and let’s me focus on other stuff.”