Keith Rocco Ready To Make Most Of One Race Whelen Mod Tour Deal With Our Motorsports

Keith Rocco

Keith Rocco

It’s not the way Keith Rocco wanted to land behind the wheel of one of the top rides on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but the Wallingford driver will take the opportunity all the same.

Rocco has been tabbed to fill in for Tommy Barrett Jr. in the Our Motorsports No. 22 entry for Sunday’s Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Barrett was suspended for the event by team owner Chris Our after Our learned Thursday morning that Barrett had been arrested April 17 in Willimantic and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Rocco has made 22 starts on the Whelen Modified Tour since 2008 with two top-five finishes and eight top-10’s. His career best series finish came in the 2012 Spring Sizzler at Stafford when he finished third driving for Boehler Racing Enterprises.

“I feel like I haven’t had the best of luck on the [Whelen Modified] Tour,” Rocco said. “I had a couple good runs with the opportunities that I had. We finished third at the Sizzler when I drove for [Mike] Boehler. I really haven’t put much thought into this weekend. I’m not going to go out there with a big head trying to prove something. I’m going to have fun and try to get the best finish as best for those guys.”

Our said Thursday he is still evaluating the situation with Barrett concerning his future with the team. Rocco said he’s looking at Sunday as a tryout as much as a fill-in.

“Anything is possible,” Rocco said. “It sucks for Barrett. Everybody makes mistakes and things happen. It sucks that I’m getting the opportunity because he made a mistake. But I’ll take it, and if things work out they work out and if not I’ll move on.”

Sunday’s 200-lapper in the Whelen Modified Tour car for Rocco will come after he competes in the season opening 40-lap SK Modified division race at Stafford.

While Rocco has been a dominant force the last few years in an SK Modified at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl he agrees he has been a tick behind the front-runners at Stafford in his John and Maina Rufrano owned ride. He was fourth in the standings last year behind champion Ted Christopher, second place Ryan Preece and third place Woody Pitkat. Rocco won SK Modified division championships at Stafford in 2008 and 2010.

“It’s the one thing we’re struggling to pin down to make the success like the other cars,” Rocco said. “At the same time the competition level, I would put Stafford’s SK competition up against any track in the country for the fiercest competition. It’s second to none. It’s not like we’re not winning. We had two wins last year. We’re just not dominating, winning 10 races. At the same time, nobody is winning 10 races. The last one to win 10 races there in a season there was me and I think I was the only one to ever do that. It’s not like we’re not there. We’re there, we’re successful, we’re just not winning the amount of races like we’re winning at the other tracks.”

Rocco will have his usual busy schedule in 2015. He will also compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified divisions at Thompson Speedway and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the Mr. Rooter Racing team. He will go for his third consecutive Late Model championship at the Speebdowl once again driving for Scott Fearn. He will run a Mike Sullivan owned Late Model at Thompson Speedway. He will also run selected Valenti Modified Racing Series events for the Rufrano owned team and Open Tour Type events for the Mr. Rooter Racing team.

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  1. Andy Da Woodchuck says

    Seriously what’s the point of this article besides pumping up Keith’s ego and kicking Tommy even further into the dirt? Yeah the kid screwed up but come on

  2. Keith deserves the shot and legitimately deserved the shot before TB to begin with. KRoc is not a teenager anymore but you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated racer than Keith. Granted TB made a poor decision or mistake but in life the most successful people are the ones who make the least mistakes and the better judgements.

  3. old observer says

    Pump up the race
    Pump up the team
    I didn’t see any kicking dirt
    Remember the media has created this time where you can’t fart without being in trouble.
    Let’s Race

  4. Just hope Mr Orr and team are behind Tommy now he needs , and I bet they are ,he’s a kid who made the wrong choice,and now needs help not kicked to the ground

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