Keith Rocco Jumps To Third In Whelen All-American Series National Standings; Dead Heat At The Top

Is Keith Rocco primed for a second national championship run?

The Wallingford driver seems to be inching closer and closer each week to putting himself in the ring for a battle at the top.

Rocco jumped from fourth to third in this week’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.

Reigning national champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C. and Deac McCaskil of Raleigh, N.C. are tied at the top of the national standings. Each has 728 points.

Pulliam has been at the top of standings all year long. He has 15 victories and 23 top-fives in 25 starts this year at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C. and Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.,

McCaskill, has 10 victories, 18 top-five’s and 22 top-10’s in 23 starts between South Boston Speedway, Southern National Motorsports Park and Motor Mile in Radford, Va.

Rocco, the 2010 national champion and national runner-up in 2009, 2011 and 2012, competes full-time in the SK Modified divisions at the Waterford Speedbowl, Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway. He had his fifth victory of the season at Waterford last Saturday.

With eight victories, 13 top-five’s and 19 top-10’s in 23 starts this year, Rocco has 632 points and moved past Tommy Lemons Jr. of Troy, N.C. for third this week. Lemons, with three victories, 17 top-five’s and 21 top-10’s over 23 starts at South Boston, Caraway, Motor Mile and Southern National, is fourth with 629 points.

Under the point structure for the NASCAR All-American Series, a race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.

A driver’s best 18 results through the Sept. 15 closing date count toward their state and national point totals. Champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace poorer runs with better results.

Ryan Preece of Berlin, who competes in an SK Modified at Stafford and Thompson and in a Tour Type Modified at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, jumped from seventh to sixth this week. Preece, who won at Stafford last Friday, now has six victories, 13 top-five’s and 15 top-10’s in 19 starts, good for 576 points.

Todd Ceravolo of Gales Ferry, who runs Thompson and Waterford, fell from ninth to 11th nationally, with 480 points. Ted Christopher of Plainville, the 2001 national champion who runs at Stafford and Waterford, fell from 12th to 14th nationally with 453 points. Christopher runs full-time in an SK Modified at Stafford and Waterford.

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