Woody Pitkat Takes Victory, Keith Rocco Gets Championship In SK Modifieds At Thompson Speedway

THOMPSON – There’s the battle and the war. On championship deciding night Thursday at Thompson International Speedway, Keith Rocco decided on winning the war.

Keith Rocco celebrates the 2013 Thompson Speedway SK Modified division championship Thursday

Keith Rocco celebrates the 2013 Thompson Speedway SK Modified division championship Thursday

Thoughts of a banzai move to go for victory danced in the head of Keith Rocco as he started at the bumper of Woody Pitkat in front of him on the final lap of the SK Modified feature at Thompson Speedway.

And then the thoughts of losing a championship took over for Rocco.

Rocco, of Wallingford, held on for the second place finish to Pitkat in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature and clinched the division’s championship by a tiebreaker over Pitkat.

“I could have sailed it underneath him and he could have chopped me and I could have went around and went from hero to zero,” Rocco said. “Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Rocco came into the event in the standings lead with Pitkat and Kerry Malone tied for second place, two points behind him.

Rocco and Pitkat, of Stafford, both finished the points championship season with 450 points. Rocco wins the championship by virtue of his five victories this season. Pitkat had two wins.

Malone, of Needham, Mass., who finished third in the feature, also was third in the points, four points behind Rocco and Pitkat.

Rocco started sixth in feature and on the first lap went by Pitkat in fifth and Malone in fourth. Rocco inherited the lead when then race leader Ryan Preece blew a motor and crashed in turn three on lap 10.

On lap 12 Pitkat went by Rocco for the lead off of turn two. Pitkat never trailed again.

“I knew I had to get to the front and I got to the front and then Pitkat passed me,” Rocco said. “I knew I was in a safe spot with Pitkat in front of me and [Kerry Malone] behind me. On the last lap coming off of [turn] I was definitely going to try to sail it to the bottom but he protected and he was ready for it. At that point, you’ve got to look at the bigger picture.”

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