Crowning Victory: Keith Rocco Becomes All-Time Winningest SK Mod Driver At Waterford With Win

Keith Rocco celebrates setting a new record for all-time SK Modified victories at the Waterford Speedbowl Saturday (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

Keith Rocco celebrates setting a new record for all-time SK Modified victories at the Waterford Speedbowl Saturday (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

WATERFORD – On July 26, Keith Rocco tied Dennis Gada on top of the all-time win list for the SK Modified division at the Waterford Speedbowl.

Rocco made it clear Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl that he’s not the sharing type.

A week after tying Gada, Rocco became the track’s all-time winningest driver in the division when he was victorious in the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Saturday at the Waterford Speedbowl.

It was the 63rd career SK Modified victory for Rocco, of Wallingford. He got his first win in the division in 2008.

“It’s awesome,” Rocco said. “I remember coming down here as a kid and Dennis Gada was unstoppable. He’d drive by cars on the top like I do now. Never did I ever think that this shoe would be on my foot one day.”

Tim Jordan of Plainfield was second and Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard third.

Rocco’s focus now shifts to become the winningest driver overall in the 64-year history of the track.

Rocco is currently third on the track’s all-time win list with 98 career victories overall. Phil Rondeau leads the list with 106 career wins and Don Collins is second with 101 victories.

Rocco also competes full-time in the Late Model division at Waterford. He has nine SK Modified victories and nine Late Model victories this season and swept wins in both features for the respective divisions the last two weeks. Becoming the track’s all-time winningest driver before the end of the 2014 is clearly attainable for Rocco.

There are nine SK Modified events and eight Late Model events remaining at the Speedbowl this season. Rocco is also expected to start in the two remaining Valenti Modified Racing Series events scheduled at the track this year.

“Now we’re going to get greedy,” Rocco said. “Now we’ve got to shoot for 106. The way the last two weeks have gone, getting two a week, that’s in the picture this year.”

Rocco’s numbers at the Speedbowl this year have been nothing short of remarkable. He won in his only Valenti Modified Racing Series start the track. In his SK Modified he has six seconds and a third place to go with his nine victories. In the Late Model he has four seconds and two thirds. His only finish off the podium in those three divisions this year was a 13th place in the Late Model when he wrecked on June 28.

Despite getting hit from behind hard early, leaving the rear of his ride looking like a mangled mess, Rocco easily cruised to his second consecutive SK Modified win Saturday, deftly avoiding three early wrecks that eliminated a number of the division’s top contenders early.

“Racing down here as long as we have, you really learn people, you learn where the wrecks happen, you learn who you’re racing with,” Rocco said. “A lot of it’s on your spotter but at the same time a lot of it’s on the driver. Your spotter can’t be watching you and watching ahead. We’ve been fortunate this year to miss a lot of the wrecks and just look ahead.”

Rocco went by Jordan for the lead with 26 laps remaining and went unchallenged the rest of the way.

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  1. Congratulations to Keith on setting a new record!

  2. Kelli Birkbeck says

    Awesome job Keith….keep the victories coming!!!

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