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.
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.”