Keith Rocco Reuniting With Pane Family In SK Mod Field At Thompson Speedway

Keith Rocco

Keith Rocco

Another year, another opportunity to chase a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national title for Keith Rocco.

When Rocco, of Wallingford, won his only Whelen All-American Series national championship in 2010 team owners Mark and Mike Pane were a big part of the recipe in grabbing that title.

And Rocco will reunite with the Pane family in 2016.

Rocco will run a Mark and Mike Pane owned SK Modified for events this year at Thompson Speedway.

The lineup for the 2016 season will once again see Rocco running full-time in the SK Modified divisions at all three Connecticut Whelen All-American Series sanctioned short tracks.

His longtime affiliation with car owner John Rufrano will continue at Stafford Motor Speedway. At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Rocco will defend his 2015 SK Modified championship in a car he partners in ownership with Vin Beedle of Mr. Rooter Plumbing.

Rocco drove a Pane owned SK Modified for multiple years at the Speedbowl. Rocco was driving the Pane owned No. 57 SK Modified the night he clinched his first Whelen All-American Series Modified national championship in 2010 at the Speedbowl.

Rocco reunited with Mark Pane to run the final Whelen Modified Tour event of the 2015 season at Thompson Speedway.

“Prior to that the last time we raced together was in 2011,” Rocco said. “We won a Thompson [SK Modified] championship and a Waterford [SK Modified] championship that last year we raced together.”

Rocco has been a perennial contender in the chase for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national title for nearly a decade, though he said it’s not something he consciously focuses on.

“It’s tough to do,” Rocco said. “We’ve got all the right pieces, we’ve got all the right things going on. There’s always a possibility it can happen its just tough to do sometimes with the numbers. It’s not like it’s all the focus. You race to win no matter you do. If you win the rest of it comes with it.”

In addition to his multiple SK Modified rides, the always busy Rocco will be doing plenty of things behind the wheel locally in 2016. He will drive a Mike Sullivan owned Late Model full-time at both Waterford and Thompson. He will also run selected Valenti Modified Racing Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Tri-Track Open Modified Series events.

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