Opening Act: Keith Rocco Rolls Easily To Bud Blastoff SK Modified Win At Waterford

Keith Rocco

Keith Rocco

WATERFORD – Keith Rocco might not come across as the type to pour his thoughts out in a personal diary.

But keeping a journal of past experiences on the racetrack is an important key he continually points to as a part of his usual early season success.

One thing  racing fans can set their watch to is that if it’s opening day at the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco can probably be found in victory lane.

That plan got a little messed up when Waterford’s Budweiser Blastoff weekend was postponed two weeks, and while the big “season opening” weekend may not have turned out to be the opener after all, some things never change.

And once again on Sunday it was Rocco, celebrating another Blastoff weekend win.

Rocco drove away from Craig Lutz over the closing laps to win the 64-lap NASCAR All-American Series SK Modified feature Sunday at Waterford.

Craig Lutz of Miller Place, N.Y. was second and Kyle James of Ashaway, R.I. third.

Coming into the event Rocco had won six consecutive season opening events at Waterford. That streak came to an end last week when the Speedbowl opened the season with their first regular Saturday night show. Rocco finished second to Ed Puleo in the season opening SK Modified feature.

“The beginning of the race I didn’t know what to expect,” Rocco said. “There were a lot of good cars up front. But, this car was awesome. We went back in the notebook and found out what we had to do to win this race. It’s good to keep notes and keep track of what you do in the past. … I know what the track did last year in this race and I corrected for where we were off last year and the car was pretty good.

Rocco went by Jeffrey Gallup for the lead with 55 laps remaining and was never really challenged at the front again.

“I was hoping for the restart when that last caution flag came out, I figured that was my last shot,” Lutz said. “But I was a little loose on entry [into the corners] and a little tight off [the corners]. Keith had a good car and I had nothing for him.”

After an opening night wreck, James’ didn’t even make a decision to return to the track until late last week. His team missed qualifying on Saturday and he was forced to start in the 25th and final starting spot in the field.

“We were set on taking a week off and then the guys got together and they said ‘We can make it happen.’” James said. “And they did. I’ve got to thank them, they’re amazing. This car was an absolute mess last week. To be back here on the podium is great. … It feels good. You get to pick off everybody off one-by-one. That’s always fun.”

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