Jeff Rocco Taking Over Thompson Speedway Based Late Model Team With New Ownership

Jeff Rocco celebrates a Late Model victory last year at Thompson Speedway

Jeff Rocco celebrates a Late Model victory last year at Thompson Speedway

The 2016 season didn’t start in the most celebratory fashion for Jeff Rocco and his Late Model team owner Eric Grant.

When the dust settled at Thompson Speedway on April 10, Rocco was watching his car taken off the track on a flatbed after he crashed with his twin brother Keith in a battle for the lead in the Late Model feature.

In the end, picking up the pieces after the rough start meant Rocco picking up the pieces and taking them home.

When Grant decided after the Icebreaker that he wanted to sell his operation it was Rocco that secured the help to get the car in his possession.

Despite Grant’s decision to shut down his team, Rocco will continue to run full-time in Thompson Late Model division with the familiar No. 68 ride, which is now owned by Don Barker and Doug Dunleavy.

“I’ll be housing the car and running the whole operation,” Rocco said. “[Barker and Dunleavy] were my financial backers to get me back in the game.”

Rocco and Grant came together with the Late Model team prior to the 2015 season. Rocco had four victories in the division last year at Thompson and was considered a favorite to run for the championship this year.

“[Grant] said it was time for him to get out and he wanted to do more with his family,” Rocco said. “It didn’t have anything to do with what happened at the Icebreaker, I think it was just time for him. He did a lot for me, I think it was just starting to take away from other things in his life and it was time. I think there was just other things he wanted to do.”


  1. Bill Realist says

    Easy decision to make when you work so hard on something only to see it gone in a second by a bone headed move.

  2. speed kills says

    looks like the car may need a rear clip and some sheet metal work. I am sure there are several car owners/sponsors who have experienced the same scenario who didn`t walk away from racing .I don’t see anything in this article that indicates your theory applies to this situation.. It appears that Rocco and Grant are OK.. Rocco is moving on and thanked him for his help ..Racing has consumed lots of money and ruined many personal relationships even at the local level. there appears to be total transparency here. good luck to Mr Rocco on his upcoming season and to Mr Grant who will get his wish to spend more time with his family and that’s never a bad thing ..Glad Dunleavy and Barker stepped up to support this driver as well..

  3. James Osterhoudt says

    It was Jeff’s bone-headed move that caused the wreck, so I do not blame the owner for being a little upset.

  4. Mitchell Kolaczenko says

    I hope Jeff rebuilds and wins the rest of the season.its racing people stuff happens go gettem Jeff hope nothing but the best to you for the rest of the season

  5. What no comment here from the real jerk fellow ?

  6. So he quits after the first race but it has nothing to do with his car being destroyed.

  7. I think everybody is being a little harsh calling it a “bonehead move”. I realize Jeff took responsibility but it sure seemed like a hard racing deal. I saw an in car replay from the 3rd place car and you cant deny that the 88 wasnt pinching the 68 slightly on corner entry. It looked like between slight contact between the two cars and the 68 hitting the flat part of the track that the back end just came out from behind him. I think Jeff was a little premature in taking full blame for the wreck.. but then again, I wasn’t in the car.

  8. speed kills says

    agree with joe c saw the video as well…

  9. Still embarrassed for him for the way he acted at the world series at new smyrna a few years ago….Maybe the race team should be called Buffoon racing?…..or Punch from behind and run like a coward racing?

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