Keith Rocco Back To Victory Lane In SK Modified At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

Editors Note: In the first publishing of this story it was stated that Bo Gunning was penalized for an incident involving Ted Christopher follow a lap two restart. That information was incorrect. Gunning was never penalized for the incident and chose to go to the pits and return to the field at the rear on his own. This story was changed to reflect that fact about two hours after publishing. RaceDayCT apologizes for the mistake. 

Keith Rocco (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Keith Rocco (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

WATERFORD – Most nights when Keith Rocco celebrates in victory lane after SK Modified features at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl it’s because he played dominator.

Saturday night at the Speedbowl the Wallingford driver played survivor.

Rocco avoided numerous issues on the track to score victory in the second 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Saturday at the Speedbowl.

It was the third victory of the season for Rocco, who dedicated the win to New England Racing Hall of Fame team owner Mario Fiore, who passed away Thursday.

“This race goes to Mario,” Rocco said. “Mario was a man of many words and he did a lot in his lifetime. Modifieds was his life. This one’s for you Mario.”

Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard was second and Joey Gada of Salem was third.

Bo Gunning took the field to green with his longtime rival Ted Christopher to his outside. At the start it was Christopher using the outside lane to go by Gunning for the lead.

But caution flew on the second lap and on the ensuing restart Gunning and Christopher made contact just after the green flag which left Christopher’s car flattened against the turn one wall and Gunning going to the pits with damage.

The issues handed the lead to Dylan Izzo and put Dennis Perry in second. Perry was able to get by Izzo on the ensuing restart with Chadwick following to second place.

With 15 laps remaining Rocco moved past Chadwick to second place and quickly got on Perry’s bumper.

With six laps remaining, and Perry’s car leaking fluid, contact from Rocco sent him sliding up the track in turn one.

Rocco took over the lead and cruised easily to victory over the final six laps.

“We missed a lot of stuff tonight,” Rocco said. “Bo and Ted, that story lives on. I don’t even know how I made it through that. I saw the sparks and saw the dust. Perry blew up. He was running a good race and it was going to be a battle to the end between me and him.”

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Comments

  1. Crazy in NY says:

    I love the Bowl but why do they let that crap go on?

  2. Justafan says:

    First time back in couple weeks and man i am just disgusted. Great owner finally doing what needs to be done and im not gonna say any names because honestly i don’t kmow who is calling the shots on race day. But they are just killing all the good being done. Not sure if its extreme favoritism ot just plain incompetent stupidity?
    Im leaning towards both.

    Last nights crowd should say it all. Double sk races and the place was empty on a gorgeous Saturday night.

    News flash they update the place all they want but…..inflated prices,lousy concesions abundantly wasting time and just absolute pathetic officiating is recipe for disaster. Something needs to change or someone has to go or all that mr bemer is doing to save the place will be for nothong. People are disgusted and will stop going

  3. Alan Borkowski says:

    Pathetic , I love good clean side by side racing, something a couple s/k drivers prefer to take away from us and management refuses to change.
    Time to sit out drivers who feel , taking guys out over racing and letting the faster car go.
    I’m done till management gets serious, too bad the support divisions are more exciting to watch than the Big boys , where you know what will happen before it does.

  4. I went last week and the show. Here are my 2 cents why they don’t get a good crowd. Too Many divisions, $18 addmission, start time is too early. 4 divisions is plenty, start an hour later, charge $15. If you have a division with less than 15 cars drop them or eliminate heats, nobody wants to watch 6 cars race.

  5. Is it true that Gunning stated he was going to put TC in the wall? Either way I hope the bowl does the right thing and penalizes him.

  6. Ilias tha Illest says:

    This is hilarious! All the TC fanboys getting so salty now that he finally got a taste of his own medicine. Bravo Gunning! Bravo! The only thing I regret is not being there to witness this glorious moment of Speedbowl history.

  7. justafella says:

    Not a TC fanboy but he certainly adds way more value to the Bowl then Bobo the Clown. the 22 started on a pole on both features and where did he end up

  8. why aren’t gunning or christopher listed on the results page?

  9. Justafan says:

    Im not a tc fan nor am i a hater but the fact is he puts fans in the stands!!! If they continue to run things like this the result is pretty obvious he will handle it himself, get tossed out but at least there will be no wait time at the ticket booth because when hes gone so is the crowd….. It’s really not hard to be fair and treat all competitors equal but i guess you need a team critical sticker ti get the track on your side…..crying shame

  10. Jason, they are both listed. Gunning in 11th, Christopher in 19th.

  11. I’m new to the CT short track scene since the old Bo/TC days. Can someone please provide a semi-balanced history of the rivalry?

  12. Thanks Shawn, I was looking where only the top 10 are listed. How has Gunning been running week to week? Don’t see him in the top 5, does he not have a strong car or keeps wrecking?

  13. I did not go to the track Saturday can someone tell me why the 78 was not sent to the rear in the first sk race he drove into the 22 backed everything up i have a fealing his brother the promoter will say no one saw it what a joke really he dumped the leader good jod track officialskeep it up.

  14. Ken Latham says:

    Watch video. 22 does not know how to drive a modified. Also the 78 needs to clean up his act. going for holes that aren’t there.

  15. That was kind of my point ken and that makes like the 5th time this year he does something stupid but if you ask his brother it just hard raceing

  16. Rafter Fan,
    Just been a long simmering rivalry between the two when it comes to SK Modified racing. Here’s an interesting look at one night in the rivalry though: Fiery Competitors: Looking Back On Burning Moment In Ted Christopher / Bo Gunning Rivalry

  17. Tony Membrino says:

    Was not in attendance, have not seen any video, and have no sense of bias as far as this story/comment is concerned… he may be rough around the edges, but to say Bo Gunning does not know how to drive a modified is nothing short of rediculous. What’s next, Tom Brady doesn’t know how to throw a football?

  18. Justafan says:

    I was there and I have no bias here 78 did what he has been doing all year just flat out blatantly slammed the leader on lap 2…yup 2 causing the wreck but no call made because of who he is. Been that way ever since opening day its a diego free for all. We all know what is going to happen next someone is going take care of it themself and junk him and more than likely get tossed out. But the track doesn’t want to penalize him so the inevitable will occur. Absolute pathetic display of track officiating.

    Now bo and ted this one is easy bo dumped him case closed. I am old enough I witnessed the rivaly back in the day and to say bo cant drive is ridiculous because he can wheel a modified but the thing is he a nasty and dirty he dont move people he just wrecks them. But he will get his as well because it appears the track could give a beep. Mr bemer could not have chosen a worse management team they are destroying all the good he is trying to accomplish. People are sick of it and the attendance is the proof. Only way they can get a crowd is with free admission

  19. First, I’m not a T/C fan or fan of any one driver I am a fan of racing.
    Good clean side by side racing where the drivers knows the limits of his car and respects it.If he has the best car and can pass another without pushing.
    Yes, moving a car out of the way from the rear is normal, from the side no.
    Not sure where Bo saying he was putting T/C in wall came from, hope it’s not true.
    I respect Bo as a great driver and smart enough not to say something so stupid.
    Imagine saying something like that then hurting or worse killing that person.
    Didn’t want to mention names but yes Bo was one of them.
    Pathetic someone would cheer stuff like what happened.
    Maybe Bo should grow up and act his age, T/C finally has.

  20. Danny's market says:

    That 78 car should have been put to the rear at a minimum, if not thrown out for the night. The stuff he gets away with now, and since the beginning of last year, is terrible. There needs to be changes at the top at the Speedbowl or everything Bruce has built will be for nothing.

  21. I” WILL NOT” bring my sk back to this place!

  22. TC’s car owner posted what Gunning was saying about putting him in the wall. He also posted Gunnings in car camera. You can clearly see Gunning turning the wheel to the left to hook the 13. So that debate is over. All that’s left to debate now us why Gunning hasn’t been suspended. They’ve suspended plenty of other drivers in other divisions this season. I think most know why that is though. Just take a look at the back of the 22….

  23. Rich where is it posted, maybe Waterford should take a look and see what they do about it.
    If I post something bad about my job FIRED.

  24. getserious says:

    $18 !?!?! Make it $10 and the place will be packed. So, 1000 people at $18 or 2500 at $10. I can’t understand why race tracks can never do simple math. And, they will sell twice as much food, which is where the real money is !

  25. Racepig46 says:

    Thankfully, Sid’s View was able to retrieve footage of the incidents. After reviewing, the 22 had the wheel turned to the left but the shape of the track doesn’t necessarily have straightaways so they’re always turning left. 13 skated around slightly with some nerf bar rubbing and when he got straight, came up into the normal groove. At the moment of contact the 22 was AT MINIMUM 5 feet from the wall (In a spot where the outside car would typically be within a couple feet). Looks to me like the 22 held the steering wheel tight and waited for 13 to come up into him. 22 was either being dirty or showed a lack of awareness for his location on the track. He was not in a normal groove and 13 had no way of knowing.
    As far as the earlier incident, looks like 04 wasn’t given enough space on the outside.

  26. Jeffreyt1258@yahoo.com says:

    Tc best ever
    That’s a fact

  27. Bob Freeman says:

    I normally stay out of these conversations, but getserious is 100% correct in his/her theory of volume. In my business, we give away a lot, because we make up considerably more in other places. It defies logic to many, but it really works.

  28. TC’s car owner was on victory lane radio last night. According to him the officials claim that TC’s spotter screwed up and cleared him too early. Well the spotter happens to be the car owner and he is adamant that he never said “clear”. I have to agree with Bob and getserious. The night they had the free admission the place was jam packed. Last week with double sk features on a beautiful summer night it also should’ve been packed. Only reason it wasn’t was because of the $25 ticket. I’m gonna guess this weekend won’t be either for $24. Seems to be that the days of having a reasonable price of $17 or whatever are few and far between. When the place is packed they need to figure out a way to sell concessions much faster too. It all sounds pretty common sense to me but then again I don’t own a business.

  29. I was listening to TC’s spotter (Doug DiPisa) on my scanner, and he was saying “still there” when the contact took place. Mike Serluca said the same thing during the interview referenced above.

  30. josh paradis says:

    plain n simple bo gunning needs to be sat for a week. yes he can drive a car but he knows right from wrong like everybody else and I cant blaime doug and his guys being mad for one second cause I would be too. I was mad for them and I don’t even help the 13. and people can get mad at me that I use my real name on here but it shows I have nothing to hide when it comes to the truth.

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