Wallbanger: Keith Rocco Hangs On For SK Modified Win At Stafford

Keith Rocco celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)(

STAFFORD – A meeting with the turn two wall typically doesn’t mean anything positive for most drivers at Stafford Speedway. 

Then again, most drivers aren’t Keith Rocco. 

Rocco survived a frantic skirmish for the lead late and then held off Ronnie Williams on a green-white-checkered finish to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

It was the second consecutive victory for Rocco, of Wallingford, and his five victory of the season overall. 

Williams, of Tolland, was second and Michael Gervais Jr. of Southbury third. 

Cory DiMatteo went by Troy Talman for the lead on lap 32 with Rocco moving to second a lap later and Glen Reen following him to third. 

On lap 35 Rocco went to the outside of DiMatteo in a bid for the lead. Rocco rode the outside of DiMattoe for laps 36 and 37.

On lap 38 Reen got low under DiMatteo in turn two. Reen drove into the side of DiMatteo, sending DiMatteo spinning. Contact from the spinning Reen pushed Rocco hard into the wall while Reen slammed the wall behind them.

“That was wild,” Rocco said. “Can’t really  blame Cory. He’s trying to get his first win out there and he’s doing everything he could to hold me off.” 

On the ensuing restart Rocco was able to hold off Williams for the final two laps. 

“We had a stout car tonight,” Rocco said. “This thing was awesome even after we bounced off the fence. We bent some stuff up, but this thing was still digging. I can’t thank my team enough.” 

Said Williams: “We’ll take it. It’s a great run by these guys. We just needed to be a little bit better. But after that mess that happened out in turn two I was just kind of happy that we were able to get out of there alive and get a strong second place finish.” 

With three races remaining this season Williams, the reigning division champion remains atop the standings. Todd Owen, who was fourth Friday, sits second in the standings, eight points behind Williams. Rocco is third, 14 points behind Williams. 

“The only thing we can do is win the races,” Rocco said of chasing the championship. “That’s what we’re going to try to do every week.”

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  1. Congrats to Keith and the 88 team. With 3 races left looks like the top 4 have a chance at the championship I’m pulling for Ronnie, but if Todd managed to pull it off I wouldn’t be upset. Good luck to all the teams for the last 3 races. Should be very interesting.

  2. So I’m sitting there watching the LM race with Leary just dominating the cautionless race and the Tom/Ryan Fearn train trying to gain ground and hoping that there wouldn’t be a caution and anyone else but Tom would win a race. That’s pathetic. Being excited about a non competitive race and a non competitive point championship. Then I’m rooting for points leaders Chapman and Hodgdon to have a competitive race as Narducci once again makes a mockery of the division that last year left us breathless with several nail biting finishes. The best races in the under card the LLM’s and the Streets with 8 and 12 cars excluding the non competitive rented cars was a bright spot but not enough to get the juices flowing.
    Then those SK’s just do it again. Rocco was outstanding and peaking at the right time Williams terrific as well. However if Williams is glued to Rocco’s back bumper he doesn’t have to be ahead to win the big prize. Rocco escaping the Reen/DiMatteo whatever it was and winning with white walls. Thought for sure it knocked something out and Williams would win. Owen again just not competing in the top tier yet only 8 points down in the championship race. He finds the magic in the next three races and/or Williams and Rocco falter and he pulls a memorable upset for sure.
    That’s what we want isn’t it. Three races max left and no room for mistakes by the three top teams.

  3. Don’t forget the 33 is well within striking distance. Should be a interesting finish to the season.

  4. Liz Cherokee says

    I read this hooing it would reference the Harvey Wallbanger… Unfortunately not, so I’ll just have to order one… Bartender!

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