Marathon Man: Keith Rocco Gets Second Consecutive SK Mod Win At Stafford

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

STAFFORD – It’s rare for an SK Modified driver at Stafford Motor Speedway to strap into the car thinking that’s where they’ll be for more than two hours. 

Friday at Stafford Speedway though that was the case for the competition in the division. 

A wreck-marred event included a one-hour delay to repair damages to the turn three wall. 

After the carnage was cleared it was Keith Rocco taking the checkered flag to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature at Stafford. 

Rocco crossed the start/finish line to complete the event exactly two hours after the race went green on lap one. 

“It’s pretty funny when the pace car driver has to get out to use the porta-potty,” Rocco said. “We didn’t have that option. It was definitely a long race. … Boy was it a wild one.” 

Ronnie Williams of Tolland was second and Cory DiMatteo of Farmington third. 

It was the second consecutive victory for Rocco and his fourth win in nine starts this year. 

It was also a milestone victory for the Wallingford driver. It was his 72nd victory overall at Stafford, tying him with the legendary Bugsy Stevens for fourth on the all-time win list at the track. 

Rocco said the only statistic he’s focused on at Stafford is catching his mentor, the late Ted Christopher, who leads the track’s all-time win list with 131 victories at the track. 

“I don’t really pay attention to it,” Rocco said of reaching the milestone Friday. “My eye is on The King. That’s a long ways away.” 

On lap 17 Marcello Rufrano tried to get under race leader Todd Owen going into turn three. Rufrano got into the side of Owen sending both into the turn three wall hard. The damage from the incident led to the one-hour delay for wall repairs. 

Rocco inherited the lead and held off charges from Chase Dowling and Williams over the final 20 laps to grab the win and extend his lead in the standings with five races remaining this season. 

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  1. I did not care for the fact that they left the caution flag out during the delay to repair the guardrail. This allowed Todd Owen to repair his car. Under normal circumstances he probably would have been out of that race. Had he not crashed again, he was working toward a top 10, maybe top 5 finish. Mike Christopher Jr. and others that wrecked earlier did not get this same opportunity. I doubt others that would have wrecked would have been given the same amount of time to repair. It was a poor decision that could have resulted in an unfair result.

  2. I was there and I apparently picked the wreckiest night ever to go to my first normal Stafford night, well normal I guess it wasn’t. I’ve never seen that many wrecks in one night of racing, still though probably best weekly racing in New England. Since I live two hours away, I had to leave about 15 laps into the late model race.

  3. I made the long 3 hour trip from NY. I also have never seen a night of racing with so many wrecks. Todd Owen was dumped from the lead unfortunately, I believe he would have ran away from the field if not. He was flying. SKL, 89 car took a horrific hit as well as the 55!! A ton of carnage. Christopher, if it was not for “bad luck”…….. I stayed throughout the night. Happy for Tyler on his big win. GREAT slide job on Fearn,

  4. Sidebar:
    Stafford’s Twisted Tea open field is up and looks good as usual. Somethings new. Stan Mertz has the 6 entered with Woody driving. Wondering?? They mentioned on their Facebook page a while back that they were putting a new engine in the car. Stafford does not allow the SK package so that pretty well confirms the 6 now has the full tour mod engine power doesn’t it? Wondering??? Is it also recon for the TTOMS race in October? Not the 6 short track MO at all.
    Stan Mertz is terrific as is Pitkat. Just a great addition. Hope they do well.

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