Ill Communication: Keith Rocco Perplexed By Apparent Valenti Modified Racing Series Disqualification

2014 VMRS LogoWATERFORD – Keith Rocco is still waiting to hear from officials from the Valenti Modified Racing Series about his finish in an event at Stafford Motor Speedway on May 22, though it was reportedly announced Saturday night at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway that series officials have disqualified Rocco from a second place run in the event.

The Chrome Horn website reported that it was announced prior to Saturday’s Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Seekonk that Rocco had been disqualified from second place at Stafford for using illegal fuel.

Rocco said he has received no information concerning details of a disqualification from series officials. Rocco said he called series technical director Bob Carrita on Friday inquiring about why he had not received a purse payment check yet for the second place finish.

“I said ‘Is there a problem?’” Rocco said. “He said, ‘Have you got a letter in the mail?’ I said ‘No.’ He said, ‘You’re going to be getting a letter in the mail.’ I said ‘What’s the problem?’ He said ‘You’re disqualified.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘I can’t tell you.’ I said, ‘Do you know what I’ve been [disqualified] for?’ He said, ‘They told me yesterday, but I’m not allowed to say.’ So apparently, I don’t know.”

Woody Pitkat of Stafford won the event at Stafford. The disqualification of Rocco moved Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield to second in the event and Ted Christopher of Plainville third.


  1. Bobby "Gastyme" Richards says

    It Just seems to me that this series is JUST WACKED….They just do whatever they want when they want and FEEL they do not have to offer up an Explanation….REALLY?????? And I am Not a ROCCO Fan either but PLEASE EXPLAIN??

  2. Billy Parker says

    Well that’s just odd………. This appears very fishy….

  3. Does it usually take this long – 2 weeks – to determine if fuel was illegal? Do they usually send the fuel sample out for analysis and it takes this long?

    I’ll admit, I’m a Rocco fan, but it seems really odd that Rufrano/Rocco would even feel they need to jack their fuel – they usually have great equipment and, like him or not, Keith already has a ton of talent and driving skills – just look at the not one, but two huge saves he had last night (one for the ages after Coby got into him). Add to that Keith’s HUGE amount of knowledge and experience with setting up and driving a Troyer mod, and it just does not add up. I just don’t see why the 68 would even feel the need to try and juice the fuel.

    But if it turns out facts are facts, then they’re hard to argue with.

  4. Maybe he had was using a used fuel cell liner. One that had fuel residue from a prior race at a different track with different fuel requirements. Head about this happening before. Not to Rocco!

  5. Is this the first anyone’s heard about this? Strange…

  6. Chris D. says

    How embarrassing is that? Why can’t the series officials just look the other way and keep quiet about it?

  7. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” -Abraham Lincoln

  8. Doesn’t surprise me the kids been caught cheating before in other divisions glad Valenti officals took time to make sure call was right!

  9. Chris D. That was the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while. You want the officials to look the other way while someone didn’t follow a rule? If you want to questions why it took so long and why they kept it quiet that’s understandable. But to ask why officials can’t look the other way? That’s why people get pissed. That’s why you lose cars. You gain respect by bouncing cars that aren’t following the rules. People want a fair shakedown at the end of the day and want everyone to follow the same rules. Maybe they made a mistake, maybe they did it on purpose, regardless of the fact, it came back as illegal. Prove a point by bouncing him and he as well as others won’t make that mistake again.

  10. Another Fellah says

    Why would one call series technical director Bob Carrita when one didn’t receive one’s check instead of calling Jack himself? Hmmm…

  11. Another Fellah,
    I’m not speaking for Rocco, because I don’t know exactly what led to him calling Carrita, though I can attest that getting in contact with Jack can at times be a daunting and seemingly impossible task. I would guess Rocco had made an attempt to reach out to someone else without success before turning to who he knew.

  12. Brad Ford says

    If I ran a regional racing series, I would follow on Twitter and Facebook every reporter who regularly covers my business. How many could that be? 4?

    The fact that they have not reached out to Shawn with an official explanation is shocking.

  13. So… Let’s announce to drivers that we DQed someone… But we haven’t told him yet…? Seems legit…

  14. When a penalty is meted out with no explanation, no details to know what not to in the future, then it is very dubious. The sanctioning bodies are only throwing egg on their own faces when they do this.

  15. ^ ^
    | |
    | THIS! |

  16. I long for a modified series with no rules ! No weight limit ,no left side limit , open motors ,fuel injected . Run whatever you wanted . Yea a modified madness series ! JMO

  17. Ken Ouellette says

    It’s clear the MRS doesn’t want quality competitors. Keith is a talented driver and an awesome mechanic. He doesn’t need to cheat, he may push the gray area but any good competitor does. DQs like this a week later is why all the good competition is leaving the series.

  18. Chris D. says

    I was being sarcastic Kj

  19. Grey Matter says

    VM”BS”…. Get your act together. You have no excuse for not saying anything or have something provided in writing regarding the infraction to Keith. Your own management seems to be leaving racers with a bad taste in their mouths. The MRS could be a great racing series but it seems management wants to keep it subpar.

  20. Chris D. says

    What good competition has left the series? Note, the reason I was being sarcastic isthat Keith is “perplexed” that he got caught, and his fans and followers are blaming the series… how come he wasn’t told?, why did it take so long?, he would never do that, residual fuel, it looks suspicious, blah blah blah… the reaction to this announcement is kinda funny, really.

  21. IMO the lack of even a courtesy phone call to Kid Rock to let him know he was being disqualified is very unprofessional and not the way to handle the DQ issue. Keith should have been the first one to know and not the rest of the competitors and the online community. The DQ is “in the mail” does not cut it. Man up VMRS and issue an apology. This series had so much going for a few years ago but it seems issues like these and “tire gate” last year keep holding back. Its too bad cause IMO most times they put on a much better show than the WMT. The WMT Time trial qualifying is like watching grass grow.

  22. Chris D. says

    So far, I’ve only seen 1 side of the story…Keith’s. Until we hear the VMRS side of it we don’t really know what went on. Maybe they did try to reach out to the team but were unsuccessful. Seems a little funny to me that the series should have to apologize to a race team that was DQ’d for breaking the rules.

  23. At least the VRMS doesn’t have the dreaded (by some) Spec Motor provision in its rules …

  24. Chris D. you are right we DO need to see the other side of the story. Hopefully Shawn C. will reach out to Jack at the VMRS and find out the series side. I am not condoning cheating, never have and never will. It will be interesting to find out what exactly was done to the fuel. The apology is for handling the situation in less than a professional manner.

  25. I am a big fan of Keith Rocco. He is one reason I got back into sponsorship hunting and promotion. But it seems to me..even though it has never, ever been easier to connect to people or track a person, Series Officials, Marketing reps and Corporations have never been so disrespectful and poor at their communication. Though I know many have ached over decisions made at Stafford Motor Speedway; at the very least we know about Tech Disqualifications…and I may be wrong but Fuel has not been an ‘Issue’ for a long time with Keith or anyone else.

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