Keith Rocco Chasing Big SK Modified Record Friday At Stafford Motor Speedway

Keith Rocco celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature at the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway last month (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

Keith Rocco ended the 2017 season on fire at Stafford Motor Speedway, winning the final two SK Modified features of the season on this way to the track championship. And that fiery roll has carried over to the start of this season.

Last week Rocco got his third victory in three events this year at Stafford, setting up for the chasing of a hugely historic number in this week’s 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature on Friday.

Rocco could become the first driver in track history to win six consecutive SK Modified features at Stafford.

“It’s going to be tough,” Rocco said. “We’ve already won three this year and two at the end of last year. The stats keep getting stacked against us. At some point it’s going to be tough to keep the winning going. We’ve had a lot of good luck on our side and hopefully we can continue the success.”

Last Friday Rocco became only the third driver in track history to win five consecutive SK Modified events since the inception of the division in 1982.

The late Ted Christopher was the first to accomplish the feat, from July 5, 2004 to August 6, 2004. Woody Pitkat become the second driver to do it, winning five consecutive from July 20, 2007 to August 24, 2007.

In track history only five times has a driver won four or more consecutive races. That list includes the three instances of five consecutive wins. And then Rocco has on two occasions – in 2010 and 2011 – won four consecutive. He is the only driver in track history to win four or more events consecutively more than once.

Also last week Rocco took over sole possession of second place on Stafford Speedway’s all-time SK Modified win list, with 48 career victories. He snapped a tie with Bo Gunning. Christopher tops the all-time SK Modified win list at Stafford with 109 victories.

Rocco said the numbers and records aren’t something he focuses on.

“I think it would mean more to me down the road when I can sit back and see what I’ve done in the past and let it set in,” Rocco said. “As of right now we just kind of just race every week for the win and kind of don’t pay attention to the stats as much as you do as wanting the win the race. When you start looking at stats and figures it seems more of like kind of the end of your career when you look back to see what you’ve accomplished.”

Since the first SK Modified feature at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 30, 1982, there have been 643 features for the division. During that span there has been only 13 instances when a driver has won three or more consecutive events. Below is the listing.

Five Consecutive
Ted Christopher – July 5, 2004 to Aug. 6, 2004
Woody Pitkat – July 20, 2007 to August, 24, 2007
Keith Rocco – September 22, 2017 to May 11, 2018 (over two seasons)

Four Consecutive
Keith Rocco – June 11, 2010 to July 2, 2010
Keith Rocco – July 1, 2011 to August 5, 2011

Three Consecutive
Bo Gunning – June 24, 1983 to July 8, 1983
Ted Christopher – August 5, 1988 to August 12, 1988
Bob Potter – August 31, 1991 to April 12, 1992 (over two seasons)
Ted Christopher – May 31, 1996 to June 14, 1996
Bo Gunning – August 21, 1998 top Sept. 4, 1998
Ted Christopher – July 28, 2000 to August 4, 2000
Ryan Preece – April 27, 2014 to June 6, 2014
Rowan Pennink – August 22, 2014 to Sept. 5, 2014

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Comments

  1. Rocco is fast this year for sure but is he unbeatable mechanical failure or being the victim of anothers wreck notwithstanding. Don’t think so. Berndt pressured him nicely, Michael Christopher would be hard to get around and Owen has just had bad luck. Speaking of Owen did he slow and cause the wreck that gathered up a couple cars last week including Reen? Was it a tire? Looked like he slowed an wandered out of his lane but it was on the backstretch so I couldn’t tell. Anyway handicappers no free passes. Make the big guy earn it from deep in the field.

  2. Too late in regards to handicapping. Even though the rule book has omitted the wording in regards to “only handicapping the top 15 or 18 in points”, Kopcik, Bernt, Dimatteo, Membrino, and Talman, who were out of the top 18 in points, started behind Rocco on the first Friday night. They all finished top 5 in their heat which I think was the transfer number.

  3. First 3 races of the season are ” straight up” handicapping starts 4th week in, although the track reserves the right to adjust the starting order. This Friday (17th) should be the start of handicapping, unless circumstances happen then who knows how they’ll line up. Our old car owner tried to figure out the handicap system and had no luck. I think there’s allot of politics at work at Stafford, and some years it seemed like they picked their champions and made sure it happened

  4. in the know says:

    Yea Rob P is completely incorrect. The handicapping is pretty straight forward and its spelled out in the rule book very clear. Week one was +/- and week 2 was rule book handicapping.

  5. This spelling out of the handicap system at Stafford that is spelled out. Where would it be? It’s not in the general rules. At least as far as I could see. They do mention a winner not starting any better then 5th or 6th but couldn’t find the entire system. According to most tracts Rob was right for weeks one, two and three. Little help please.

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