Breakthrough: Keith Rocco Grabs First Stafford Speedway SK Modified Victory Of The Season

Keith Rocco of Wallingford held off Todd Owen of Somers to win the 42-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Keith Rocco (Photo: 122 West/NASCAR)

It was the first victory of the season at Stafford for Rocco.

Owen held on for second and Eric Berndt of Rocky Hill was third.

Rocco lost the lead to Owen on lap 26 but regained the top spot on lap 27 and never trailed again.

“I’ve got to thank the whole team for sticking behind me,” Rocco said. “This has been a year a rookie should have and not us. The amount of races we’ve won and places we went and the cars we’ve had over the years that were so fast, we really had to work for this one. … The monkey’s off our back. We’re back.”

Woody Pitkat of Stafford finished fifth and took over the points lead in the division over Ryan Preece. Preece came into the evening leading Pitkat by two points, but an eighth place finish for Preece dropped him two points behind Pitkat in the standings.

In the 32-lap Late Model feature Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. held off Adam Gray of Belchertown, Mass. for his third victory in nine events this year.

Gray ended up second, for his eighth consecutive podium finish this season. Woody Pitkat of Stafford was third.

Gray’s only finish outside the top-three this season was an 18th in the season opening event. Gray now holds a four point edge over Fearn at the top of the Late Model standings.

Chase Dowling of Roxbury won the 22-lap SK Light Modified feature. Tyler Hines of North Haven was second and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third.

Josh Wood of Palmer, Mass. was victorious in the 22-lap Limited Late Model feature. David Arute of Tolland was second and Andrew Hayes of Charlton, Mass. third.

Jeremy Lavoie of Windsor Locks topped the field in the 17-lap DARE Stock feature. Cliff Saunders of Stafford was second and Kelsey Rottino of Willimantic third.

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