RaceDayCT Exclusive: Keith Rocco To Make ARCA Menards East Series Debut At NHMS

One of the Northeast’s most well known short track racers will team up with the one of the country’s most recognizable short track regional teams for Full Throttle Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

RaceDayCT has learned exclusively that Keith Rocco will make his NASCAR ARCA Menards East Series debut driving for Venturini Motorsports on Sept. 12 at NHMS. 

“It’s absolutely exciting and really cool to have the opportunity to drive for such a well known and winning team,” Rocco, the 2010 NASCAR All-American Series National Champion, told RaceDayCT. “Hopefully we can fill the shoes of what they’re used to having and try to come out with a good finish there.” 

Rocco’s twin brother Jeff worked to bring the deal together with Venturini Motorsports. Nic Moncher, vice president of Marketing Partnerships for Venturini Motorsports, said Rocco has been on the radar of the organization’s developmental program in the past. 

“We were looking to get one race in this season in the hopes of building something for 2021 with Keith,” Moncher said. “We had an ARCA East slot available for New Hampshire and it just worked out for everyone. 

“… When we do our searches as part of our driver development program we do it with Toyota and others. The big thing we look for in drivers is their commitments to what they’ve done in their past histories in racing. Obviously Keith is a well known name. When Jeff called we immediately knew who he was. He’s somebody we’ve looked at in the past and for whatever reason we just never got anything to come together. I know he’s tried to do some stuff with [Kyle Busch Motorsports] in the past. But we know Keith is a guy who has really stuck to the [Northeast] with the Modifieds. When I brought this idea to [team owner Billy Venturini] he was really excited and that’s when we really went full bore in trying to make sure this happened.” 

Rocco has three career starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He was ninth in his last start at the track driving for team owner Chris Our in July 2015. 

Although Rocco’s focus for the bulk of his career has been driving open wheel Modifieds, he has plenty of experience running full-bodied cars. He has three Late Model division championships at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. 

“It’s exciting to do this,” Rocco said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a change from what I’m used to. Quite a bit of a change to adapt to something like that as far as not being able to drive it [into the corners] as far as we could drive a Modified in. The biggest thing is probably going to be adapting to that and backing the corner way up. Everything I drive lately is about driving it as hard as you can and drive it in as far as you can. But I’m looking forward to it and really looking forward to trying something new.” 


  1. great news! best of luck Keith!!

  2. Nice! Good luck and represent!

  3. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Did they forget to check his age?

  4. Socially Secure says

    Good luck Papa Keith! Keith will be old enough to be the father of over half the kids and nephews in this series.

  5. Good Luck Keith, kick ass

  6. How much for ride 5 to 10k?

  7. It was 1980 something at Stafford Speedway. The SK’s had been around for 5 or 6 years as the second division but this was the first year they got top billing. A period of adjustment and tough times for Jack Arute with empty stands and only the Late Models on the race card and they were only enhanced Street Stocks at the time.
    The Christopher brothers, Potter, Pearl Gunning et al provided bare knuckled but great racing every week. There was another car that sticks out in memory. The 13 of Ronnie Rocco. Older, a bit of a character that would show up late, miss the heats and start scratch in the feature. Inevitably he’d provide some of the most exciting moments flying through the field and driving the regulars in the points battle nuts. Only won a race or two but was always fun to watch.
    That’s my recollection anyway and I’m pretty sure the bulk of it is nearly true. Perhaps there are other old timers out there and they can fill in the blanks on Ronnie. He raced a long time in a lot of divisions at a lot of tracks and did pretty good.
    That’s the Rocco twins dad isn’t it? Sometimes in the fuse about how the Rocco’s started in racing as young lads with Ted Christopher you’d think Ted was their dad. If it is Ronnie Rocco it seems like he is getting a little short changed in the deal. His cars were always a little rough around the edges but if he was in the field he was generally one of the most exciting guys to watch on the track in a time when there were a lot of swashbucklers driving SK’s.

  8. Doug, spot on. Rocco was fun to watch. Never showed up on time. Never had the best equipment, but made the most of what he had. And yes, he is Keith and Jeff’s father.

  9. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Ronnie Rocco is Keith and Jeff’s father? Ohh that’s why Keith had the number 13 inside of his number 88 all those years at Waterford. Who knew 🤷

  10. If I remember correctly he hauled his race car on a tractor( Peter built) with a ramp truck type rig on the back of it. Maybe someone can clarify. There was someone back in the day, maybe at monadnock, used to haul his car on a log truck. He loaded and unloaded it with the cherry picker. Can’t remember who it was though. Strange days indeed.

  11. Shawn, maybe you can shed some light, and give us ole timers a history lesson or 2.

  12. Doug….
    The first SK modified race was in 1982….
    Here’s a nice link about the history of a Stafford SK modified racing:


  13. Getting back to Keith’s opportunity. He’s going to be driving a Venturini car, so he’ll be in top tier equipment. Realistically a top 10, even a top 5, podium or win is a possibility. Maybe this race will lead to even better possibilities, like a Truck or Xfinity race or 2. It’s undeniable that Keith has the talent, and skull to do well. Hope he makes the best if this opportunity. Best of luck.

  14. David John says

    Awesome news! Great guy too!

  15. Bob P. You are correct. Usually showed up at Waterford after practice was over. Was always fast as hell. With no practice.

  16. I remember when he showed up at Waterford in time for the consi, started scratch and won it. Don’t remember where he finished in the feature.

  17. That was Ronnie I am talking about.

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