Fighter: Battling Cancer, Todd Ceravolo To Return To Speedbowl As Grand Marshal

Todd Ceravolo (left) and his son-in-law Keith Rocco celebrate in victory lane at the Waterford Speedbowl in 2012 (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

Todd Ceravolo (left) and his son-in-law Keith Rocco celebrate in victory lane at the Waterford Speedbowl in 2012 (Photo: Mark Caise/Waterford Speedbowl)

For decades Todd Ceravolo has been known in local racing circles as a driver never afraid to show his aggressive side when it comes to getting behind the wheel of a Modified on Connecticut short tracks.

So it comes as no surprise that when it came to battling cancer, the Gales Ferry driver wanted to do it the same way as he always did in competition on the track. Aggressively.

After months away from the racing scene for treatment for Multiple Myeloma cancer, Ceravolo will return to his home track, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, this weekend to serve as the Grand Marshal of Sunday’s 75-lap SK Modified feature as part of the Bemers Big Show.

“It’s wonderful,” Ceravolo said of the honor. “I’m excited just to get back to the racetrack and excited to see old friends and new friends and be involved. I’m not really involved much with the race car at this point, but I will be back with that over the winter. But it’s going to feel good to be part of something there at the racetrack.

“This disease touches every family. Its kind of like whoever draws the short straw. I was the unfortunate one. But from everything I’ve read and people I’ve talked to, if you’re going to get a cancer, this is the one to get. Even though you can’t cure it, it goes in remission, its kind of the easiest one to go through. It’s a slow moving cancer.”

Ceravolo was diagnosed with the cancer in April.

“There is one person alive that supposedly he’s the first cured person,” Ceravolo said. “I had met him. My cancer doctor sent him over to talk to me. So when I went back to the cancer doctor he said to me, ‘I’m going to talk about a few treatments, different options.’ I said, ‘Nope, there’s two options we’re going to talk about. One, that if your mother had this disease, what would you give her? And the second one is, whatever that guy had, I would like to have that.’ So he said what he had was very …, it’s a rough road. It’s just very extreme. He told me at my age I shouldn’t have any problems. I said ‘Will it kill me?’ He said ‘Nope.’ So I said, ‘Let’s do it.” And that’s what we did.”

The treatments have been heading down a positive road for months.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people that have the same thing that I’ve got,” Ceravolo said. “Just a little support and what to expect because the doctors don’t tell you everything. When you tell them what’s ailing you they say, ‘Yup, we were expecting that.’ But they don’t tell you you were going to get it. They just kind of hang on and wait until you say something.

“Every time I get something done, whether it’s the radiation treatments, and I had some light [chemotherapy] and I went back for some heavy [chemotherapy] and every stage that I go through the doctors just can’t believe how well I’ve taken to all the treatments. A lot of the side effects I didn’t get. … They were just amazed at how well everything went.”

Last week Ceravolo visited Thompson Speedway on Saturday for the Sunoco World Series of Racing, where Rowan Pennink was racing his family’s SK Modified.

“It was great to see so many people that sent me well wishes and cards and all that. It was good to get out,”

Said Ceravolo’s daughter Cassie Rocco: “I think that it’s a big honor for anybody to be a Grand Marshal. So for him to be coming out of having his [stem cell] transplant and being healthy enough to be able to do it, to me that’s more exciting than being the Grand Marshal.”


  1. Frankie tree says

    We are all glad you are going to be our grand marshal . Looking forward to seeing you at a place that’s like a 2 nd home. Keep up the great fight and God Bless you and your family.

  2. hope you have a speedy recovery. The best medicine is doing stuff you love.

  3. Fast Eddie says

    You were the guy I would refer to as owning the Icebreaker. You almost always won the SK race for quite a stretch of time. So glad to hear your doing well! Keep fighting!

  4. Good to have you back Todd, wish you the best and hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.

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