Count It: Keith Rocco Wins Budweiser Modified Nationals 150 For Second Straight Year At Waterford

WATERFORD – Keith Rocco has recorded plenty of milestone firsts in his racing career at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Keith Rocco

Keith Rocco

Saturday he got his first win in the Speedbowl’s annual premier SK Modified event, for the second time.

Sound confusing?

The Waterford Speedbowl record books show Rocco as the winner of the event of the 2012 Budweiser Modified Nationals 150 at the shoreline oval, even though it was Rocco’s father-in-law Todd Ceravolo who actually took the checkered flag in that event.

Rocco had started the race, which was suspended because of rain on Sept. 1 last year. By the time the race restarted on Sept. 15 Rocco had been suspended from the track for being involved in a fight. Ceravolo took over the ride and raced to the win.

Saturday Rocco, of Wallingford, made it official in his own record books that he’s a Budweiser Modified Nationals winner.

Rocco held off Woody Pitkat of Stafford on a restart with two laps remaining to win the Budweiser Modified Nationals 150 Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

“Technically, to me, I had never won this race,” Rocco said. “Today definitely sealed the deal. To me, in the record books it says I won the race, but somebody else drove my car from basically start to finish [in 2012]. My father-in-law won the race. So for me to be able to do it, it’s really cool and definitely a notch in the belt.”

Pitkat held on for second and Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard was third. It was the eighth SK Modified victory in 19 races this year at Waterford for Rocco.

Rocco went by Tom Abele for the lead with 69 laps remaining and never trailed again.

“With the full load of fuel the cars really beat up on the rear tires so I just rode it out [early in the race],” Rocco said. “I got in a safe spot and just rode and rode and rode. I figured with like 70-something laps to go I’d give it a shot and see what I got and we’d make the decision there if we were going to come in for tires. I rocked my way to the front and got out front and set a good pace and let Tyler use his stuff up and things just played right into our favor.”

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