Keith Rocco Leading The Way With Consistency In SK Modified Division At Stafford

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Keith Rocco (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

During the 2017 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway, the headlines have been filled up with Ted Christopher and Chase Dowling, who between them have won 6 of the 8 races this year. One driver who hasn’t made as much noise in the headlines is Keith Rocco, driver of the #88 Wheelers Auto / Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair car. Rocco has yet to win a race in 2017, but his quiet consistency has seen him finish in the top-7 in all 8 SK Modified® feature events to date and he is looking to continue his run of good fortune.

“I don’t think we’ve been under the radar,” said Rocco. “It seems like every time they’ve won this year, we’ve either finished second or third, so we’re right there, we’re just missing that little bit of speed. The consistency is there, which is half the battle. Every week we’re trying something different and we’ve been making gains, we just haven’t gotten a win yet.”

Among Rocco’s 8 top-7 finishes this season are five podium efforts with a best finish of second on May 12 when he and Ted Christopher dueled for the lead in the closing laps and Rocco came up just short at the checkered flag. With those results under his belt, Rocco feels like it’s only a matter of time until he puts his #88 back in NAPA Victory Lane.

“I think it’s only a matter of time, but it’s tough out there,” said Rocco. “Everyone has the best of the best equipment and it seems like if your car isn’t perfect, then you’re not going to win. We’ve been right there and battling with those guys, swapping the lead back and forth. We just haven’t won a race yet. It’s tough with the tire program and only getting 2 tires a week. It seems like everyone is on a different schedule with their tires. I think it‘s just a matter of having a good night with tires and being on the right schedule.”

In addition to his driving duties behind the wheel of the #88, Rocco has also ventured into the ownership realm this season, fielding entries for Tom Abele, Jr. in the #32 and Brendon Bock in the #29 car. Abele has run all the races and with 3 top-10 finishes to his credit, he sits just outside the top-10 in the points standings. Bock got a late start, but in four starts this season, he has recorded two top-10 finishes.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Rocco. “It’s almost like having another job but those guys are running good and we’re hoping we can get them into the top-3 on a consistent basis. To be honest, it doesn’t really affect anything we do. The cars are all set up the same and it’s hard to keep all 3 cars up front.”

Rocco is a former 2-time SK Modified® champion at Stafford (2008, 2010) and if his thoughts on the second half can match his performance in the first half of the season, he could well be on his way to a third championship.

“I think we should be able to keep our momentum rolling and have just as good a second half of the year as we have started off in the first half.”

Rocco, Abele, Bock, and the rest of the SK Modified® field will be back in action this Friday night, July 28th as part of the 5-Star Series program with a special appearance by the Wild Thing Karts Senior Champs division. Tickets for this Friday night’s program are priced at $17.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $20.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at


  1. Is this music to a fans ears or what. Stafford can have all the touring divisions they want but the SK’s are what the people come for. And to hear a guy like Rocco talk about all the good equipment and great drivers gives me goose bumps. They always put on a great show with 40 laps of constant position changes through the field and really minimal, almost non existent bonehead crashes. The fans love Rocco for sure but keep an eye on Todd Owen who gave Christopher all he could handle last week while consistently fending off Rocco. Builds his own equipment and builds for others as well. A busy, smart and talented guy with the broadest of skill sets that consistently flies under the radar.

  2. Doug please stop
    Rocco and teddy are the best period…
    I have a team coming too
    I got a real good driver about to hop in my new sk
    A guy from marina
    HIS name is Jimmy speed

  3. Bob Npt. says

    Wow. What praise for the SK’s. Back when they started out as the headline division for Stafford, they were labeled as the end of modified racing and Stafford Speedway. The place was literally deserted. Now they’re the best thing in the world and the place is packed every week. I have to agree with that.

  4. Let’s have an SK tour. I’d like that

  5. “Is this music to a fans ears or what. Stafford can have all the touring divisions they want but the SK’s are what the people come for”

    I couldn’t agree more… The Lights, too! Far more entertaining than any of the tour races.

  6. Jack Arute’s dream come true. Well done.

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