Fresh Look: Keith Rocco Gets First SK Mod Win With New Team At Stafford 

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

When it comes to the SK Modified division at Stafford Speedway two offseason stories stood out more than any others. The first being Keith Rocco joining the Dan Avery owned Horsepower Hill stable. The second being Jimmy Blewett running full-time for the season with the Petty Cash Motorsports team. 

Friday at Stafford it was those two offseason story makers being the story at the finish of the SK Modified division 

Rocco, of Wallingford, held off Blewett in a side-by-side drag race to the checkered to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford. 

It was the first victory of the season for Rocco and his first with the Avery owned team. Rocco’s last win was on Aug. 12 of last season.

“Jimmy is good to race with,” Rocco said. “Me and him have had a respect thing since the early 2000’s at Thompson. I knew he wouldn’t dump me for the win. He definitely could have. I want to thank Jimmy for running us clean. I’ve got to thank Dan Avery and especially [crew chief] Mike O’Sullivan. Mike has been working his tail off on this car and this is pretty awesome to be back in victory lane with these guys. … I just can’t thank the whole team enough.” 

It was the 68th career SK Modified victory at Stafford for Rocco, who sits second on the division’s all-time win list behind the late Ted Christopher (109 victories). Overall it was Rocco’s 79th career win at Stafford. He sits fourth on the track’s all-time win list. Woody Pitkat and Tom Fearn are tied for second with 81 victories and Christopher leads the all-time win list with 131 wins. 

Blewett, of Howell, N.J., was second and Todd Owen of Somers third. 

Blewett came into the night as the division’s points leader. It was his sixth podium finish in eight starts this season. 

“Congratulations to Keith and his team,” Blewett said. “Keith and I have been friends a long time. Coming into this deal here this year, I went over to him and said ‘It looks like we’re the old guys now against all these young guys’ Good job to him. We had a good race there at the end. I wish we could have battled a few more laps. Hats off to my team.” 

Said Owen: “We had a really good car. It was coming at the end. I’m really happy with my guys, how hard they work for me. Hats off to them. I definitely couldn’t do this without all the help, all my sponsors and all my team members.” 

Rocco went by Tyler Leary for the lead on lap three. On lap 14 Anthony Bello went by Leary for second. On lap 29 Bello got under Rocco for the lead off of turn two. Rocco stayed with Bello through two restarts before going back by Bello for the lead through turns three and four on lap 34. 

Blewett got by Bello for second on a lap 35 restart. Blewett found a lane under Rocco off of the final corner, but Rocco won the drag race to the checkered. Behind them Owen got under Bello for second through the final two corners with Bello dropping to sixth. 

“I made contact with [Anthony Bello] there,” Owen said. “I really didn’t want to, but he kept coming down. But I’m sure he’s going to see it differently. I know [Stephen Kopcik] when he drove by he saw it differently too, or he thought I was No. 1, I’m not sure.” 



    Owen doesn’t need to apologize .. he`s been busier than usual fixing cars this year. he holds his line on what is still a single groove track (turn 3) . that`s racing.. Bessett and Bello can go cry in their Chocolate milk . Kopcik ?take a hike cheater ! Glad to see Rocco hold on as Blewitt had a faster car with old tires..

  2. Captian Obvious says

    Rocco should have won. He smartly managed their tire inventory so they had four new tires and started up front. He is not fast enough in other conditions nor consistent enough to contend for the championship, but he should contend for another win this season if he starts up front again with four new tires.

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