Digging In: Keith Rocco Scores SK Modified Feature Win At Stafford

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

STAFFORD – For most competitors in short track racing two second place finishes over the first three events of the season would be something to celebrate. 

For Keith Rocco, that’s a slow start to the year. 

Friday Rocco got the chance to celebrate for the first time in 2021 at Stafford Speedway, and do it on a night when celebrating one of his main sponsors, 811 Call Before You Dig. 

Rocco came out on to of a feisty battle with Stephen Kopcik to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford. 

Rocco was second in the season opener on April 24, had an 18th place after a mechanical issue on April 30 and then came back to finish second again on May 7. 

“What a start to the season we’ve had,” Rocco said. “Up and down. But somehow one way or another we’ve been stringing together some finishes minus the DNF and some bad luck. What a night to win. 811 Call Before You Dig night.” 

Kopcik, of Newtown, was second and Todd Owen of Somers third.

Rocco went under Kopcik for the lead through turns three and four on lap 25. Two laps later Kopcik fought back to regain the top spot off of turn four. 

Caution flew on lap 38. Kopcik held off Rocco initially on the restart, but Rocco was able to find a lane under the leader on lap 39. The pair came side-by-side to the white flag with Rocco wrestling the lead for good through the final corner. 

“It was awesome to race with [Kopcik] and put a show on,” Rocco said. “I’ve got to thank … my whole team here. We had a rough start and they worked their tails off.” 

Tyler Hines, who got his first career victory in the season opener and had third place finishes in the next two events, continued to be hot with a fourth place finish to keep the points lead in the SK Modified standings. 


  1. Freakin Rocco. What can you say. We just saw an example of why the guy is so great in the SK’s. Not to take anything away from Kopcik. He’s clearly well established as a top level driver and team at this stage the way he came from 13th. Tyler Hines as well. 15th to 4th. No flash in the pan is the Tick Mike car.
    Mikey Flynn also well done. When Flynn, Hodgdon and Narducci graduated from the Lights who would have guessed Flynn in the Spafco would be the one producing some of the best finishes with greater frequency?
    A highlight was Ronnie Willliams not getting up to speed once again. Remember those halcyon days in 2018 and 2019 when the 50 never wrecked, never broke down and sliced through the field untouched like it was protected by a force field. Guess what, the 2020 trouble aren’t over yet. Made all the worse since it’s a new car.

  2. Congrats to Keith and the 88 crew for the win. Good job.

  3. With the “drop one race” provision in effect for Stafford points the year (see General track rules on Stafford’s web site), Rocco may not be hurt by his week 2 DNF.

  4. There’s another way to look at that. Rocco used his get out of jail card early. Guys like Tyler Hines still have a mulligan in their hip pockets.

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