Rocking And Rolling: Keith Rocco Continues SK Modified Domination At Stafford

STAFFORD – In the waning weeks of the 2017 season at Stafford Motor Speedway it was beginning to look like a decade long streak of getting at least one SK Modified victory each year at the track would be coming to a close for Keith Rocco.

And then Rocco won the final two events of the season to roll to his third SK Modified championship at the track.

On April 29 at the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford, Rocco made sure there would be no worries in 2018 about his streak of victories each year being in jeopardy. Rocco’s win in the season opener at Stafford marked the 12th consecutive year he has won at least one SK Modified event at the track.

Friday night Rocco kept the streak rolling on.

Rocco, of Wallingford, held off the charges of Mike Christopher Jr. and Ronnie Williams to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

“We’re off to such a good start,” Rocco said. “Things are rolling really smooth and we’ve got a good team and the pieces of the puzzle are just falling in place. I mean everybody is going to have a bad week, but we’ve got a fast car.”

Williams, of Tolland, was second for the second consecutive week. Christopher, of Wolcott, was third.

“This is awesome,” Rocco said. “I can’t thank the Bear [crew chief Billy Calicchio] enough. He came on the board and he’s made all the difference in my team. He’s taught me a lot in the last six months.”

Mike Christopher Jr., the nephew of Rocco’s mentor and the all-time winningest driver at Stafford the late Ted Christopher, went by Joey Cipriano for the lead on lap 11. By lap 18 Rocco was up to second.

Christopher was able to hold off Rocco on a lap 19 restart, but on lap 22 Rocco found the line under Christopher in turn three. The two came to the start/finish line side-by-side with Rocco clearing Christopher for the lead for good into turn one.

“Once I got out front I didn’t think anybody was getting back by me,” Rocco said. “It kind of reminds me of back in the day when I was in [Mike Christopher Jr.’s] shoes. It was the opposite way around when I was racing against Ted. He was the one that was always schooling me. Now I feel like Michael has to learn, ya know, things have changed.”

Williams went by Christopher for second on a lap 32 restart.

“I think if we had one more lap it would have been a different story,” Williams said. “But congrats to those guys. We’re close.”

Said Christopher: “We’re all chasing [Rocco], but we’re getting there, inch by inch.”

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