Chiller Thriller: Keith Rocco Uses Last Lap Pass To Top Sunoco Modifieds At Thompson Icebreaker 

Keith Rocco celebrates victory in the Sunoco Modified feature Friday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – For about a decade Keith Rocco had established himself as the unquestionable dominant force in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson Speedway. 

Then came the 2022 season and Rocco was missing. 

Rocco went winless in his Sunoco Modified at Thompson last season. For the offseason, going back to the drawing board meant going back to what was working for the Wallingford driver before 2022. 

And that plan worked splendidly for him Friday at Thompson Speedway. 

Rocco used a crafty last lap pass of Stephen Kopcik to win the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature Friday at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway. 

“Over the years we got carried away with everything, all this new stuff,” Rocco said. “At the end of the day you’ve got to do what wins races. Today went back to what we were doing when we were winning all the races here. And we were night and day from where we were last year. And sometimes you’ve got to back and start driving like you did back in the day too. So we’re back on track for both of those things.” 

Kopcik, of Newtown, held on for second on the track and Jon Puleo of Branford was third. 

Kopcik was later disqualified from the event following post-race tech inspection, moving Puleo to second and Troy Talman of Oxford, Mass. to third.

Rocco got the jump on the start but the race quickly went yellow with sixth place starter Steven Chapman in the turn one wall. 

Rocco held off Kopcik on a second attempt at starting the event, but he couldn’t shake Kopcik. On lap 12 it was Kopcik getting by Rocco for the lead off of turn four. 

Caution flew on lap 19. On the restart it was Kopcik holding on to the top spot, but Rocco remained stalking his bumper. 

On the final lap it was Rocco using a run off of turn two to carry a load of momentum into turns three and four and roll to victory. 

“I knew it was going to come down to a last lap deal,” Rocco said. “Stephen is real fast here. He showed us how it was done last year. … We had a rough season here last year. It wasn’t like us to not win a race. But we’re on track this year.” 

Said Kopcik: “Anytime you can race [Rocco] that’s good. You’ve got to expect. We’re all so damn close, I don’t know if it’s better to be leading or better to be second on the last lap.” 



  2. seekonk fan says

    Anybody know how many outlaw mods ?

  3. Might want to check Race Monitor about 1 as they practice to get some idea of who’s in.

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