Twin Spin: Rocco Brothers Wreck Ends Feisty Late Model Duel At Thompson Icebreaker

The Late Models of Jeff Rocco (top) and Keith Rocco after they crashed in a battle for the lead Sunday at Thompson Speedway

The Late Models of Jeff Rocco (top) and Keith Rocco after they crashed in a battle for the lead Sunday at Thompson Speedway

THOMPSON – Heading into the 2016 season many expected the Late Model championship chase to likely end up as a family battle between twin brothers Jeff and Keith Rocco.

Jeff Rocco was the winningest driver in the division at Thompson in 2015. And Keith seems always to be a top contender in any short track division event he places himself in.

Sunday at Thompson Speedway the family affair ended up pretty bent.

In a moment that had the packed grandstands at Thompson Speedway rocking, Keith and Jeff Rocco both crashed hard into turn three in a battle for the lead during the 25-lap Late Model feature.

The crash took place on a lap 19 restart that saw Jeff Rocco leading and Keith Rocco second.

Three attempts at the lap 19 restart took place, with wrecks behind the leaders each time bringing the caution out. On the fourth attempt things got ugly at the front.

Keith Rocco seemed to get a stout run off of turn two following the restart and the two went door-to-door down the backstretch into turn three. In the blink of an eye bother were sliding and then slamming backward into the turn three wall.

“I thought we were pretty equal for a while, we were running the exact same lap times,” Keith Rocco said. “I tried to move my line a little bit to get an advantage. My car was really good on the top. A couple times he ran me up a little bit and I couldn’t make it happen. The last restart I got a good run off of [turn two] and I’m pretty sure I had him beat down the backstretch and he just cleared me out.”

Jeff Rocco took the blame for the wreck in the moments following.

“The car just snapped on me. I don’t know, I’ve got to look into it and make sure it wasn’t a tire or something broke,” Jeff Rocco said. But if not, I’ll credit the blame on hard racing and I’ll take the blame on it.”

Jeff Rocco said he hopes the pair can put the incident behind them before the next event at Thompson on May 18.

“I’ve got to go over there for the holidays,” Jeff Rocco said. “I’m close to my brother so I don’t want to have a grudge with him. I’ve seen the Blewett brothers and the Christopher brothers race each other hard and I don’t think it was any different here. Right now I’ll own up to it.”

Said Keith Rocco: It’s racing I guess. I guess the [Mike Christopher and Ted Christopher] show from the 80’s.

William Wall of Shrewsbury, Mass. went on to win the 25-lap event. Larry Gelinas of Buxton, Me. was second and Matt Lowinski-Loh of Milford, Mass. third.


  1. 2 brothers. .1 race car driver

  2. Those Rocco boys will be fine. Anyone know where the #15 late model of Jeff Smith was???

  3. Hard racing as I viewed it from the 4th turn….It was cold today, doesn’t surprise me Jeff lost it going into 3…it still somewhat surprised me

  4. Paul, Jeff can’t get Wednesdays off from work so he is racing Waterford this year, maybe one or two at Thompson !

  5. road block says

    Wednesday must be the busy day at the cracker factory.

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