Keith Rocco Returning To Late Model Division At Waterford Speedbowl Saturday In Borrowed Car

STAFFORD -A week after watching his Late Model ride leave the track virtually destroyed after he was spun into the wall, Keith Rocco will return to competition in the division Saturday in a ride very familiar to fans at the shoreline oval.

Keith Rocco

Rocco, of Wallingford, will be competing in Saturday’s Late Model feature at Waterford in the car normally driven by three-time Late Model division track champion Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton.

Thomas, who sits second on the track’s all-time win list, is not running full-time at the track this year.

Rocco’s Scott Fearn owned Late Model ended up a mangled mess after he was hit and spun by Rich Staskowski early in last week’s Late Model feature. Rocco, the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, who is in his first year running full-time in the Late Model division at Waterford, had won the first two Late Model events of the season at the track before last week’s third race of the year.

Fearn’s car could not be repaired in time for this week’s event.

“I think if anything, me driving Bruce’s car proves to everybody that not everybody is out to get me,” Rocco said. “There are people out there that are racers like me and that will do things for me. It’s not like so many out there have something against me. It shows what kind of person Bruce really is and it shows he doesn’t get wrapped up in all the [bull].”

Despite the wreck last week, Rocco still holds the points lead in the division.

“I just want to win all the races,” Rocco said of his drive in the Late Model.

In addition to running full-time in the Late Model division at Waterford, Rocco also runs in the SK Modified division at the track. He is four points behind standings leader Ted Christopher in that division with two victories in three events. Rocco also races full-time in the SK Modified divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl. He was at Stafford Saturday afternoon for Spring Sizzler SK Modified division qualifying.

Fearn was suspended from the pit area at Waterford and any involvement with the race team at the track for the next six events for his involvement in an altercation in the pits after last week’s feature. Fearn punched a member of Staskowski’s pit crew following the event and was arrested and charged with assault.

Staskowski, who went on to finish second in the feature last Saturday after the incident with Rocco, was fined $450 and docked 48 points in the standings and put on probation for four weeks for making contact with Rocco during the event. The penalty was equivalent to the purse and points earned by Staskowski Saturday. The points penalty dropped Staskowski from a tie for second in the division standings, eight points behind Rocco, to 10th in the standings.

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