Keith Rocco Shines Victorious In Thrilling SK Mod Win Before Sold Out SRX Series Crowd At Stafford

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

Story By Penny Aicardi – Special To RaceDayCT

STAFFORD – In a display of sheer racing prowess and undeniable talent, Keith Rocco emerged triumphant once again, capturing his second consecutive SK Modified feature victory Thursday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

From the moment the green flag waved, Rocco demonstrated an unwavering determination, making his way from a 14th place starting position to the lead in just 21 laps. Once out front, Rocco left his competitors in his rear view mirror, pulling away to a 2.057 second margin of victory. 

“I think it was more or less getting the first one under our belt this year with this team,” said Rocco, of Wallingford. [Crew chief] Michael O’Sullivan [has] really got this car dialed in for us. It’s just a matter of time before we start racking them up. It’s been years since I’ve won back-to-back races here. That’s pristine for us.”

Mikey Flynn of Hampden, Mass. was second and Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott third.

Tyler Hines led the field into turn one at the start of the race but quickly received a challenge from Troy Talman, who secured the lead in turn three. Talman was challenged by Michael Gervais Jr., who claimed the top spot at lap four before the yellow flew for a wreck in turn one that ended the night for RJ Marcotte, David Arute, and Stephen Kopcik.

Talman and Gervais went door to door through turns one and two on the restart but it was Gervais at the line by a nose. Talman, Flynn, Anthony Bello and Todd Owen rounded out the top five before caution flew again at lap six for a tangle in turns three and four.

Talman and Gervais continued their intense battle when the race went back to green, but it was Talman this time with a nose-length advantage coming out of two. Gervais closed it up at the line and took the lead on lap seven before losing it to Anthony Bello on lap eight. 

Caution did not slow Bello’s momentum as he drove straight to the front on the restart with Flynn, Gervais, Jimmy Blewett and Owen rounding out the top five at the line. Flynn was on the move, however, and in turn four of lap 13, dove underneath Bello to take the lead.  Bello wasn’t giving up the spot that easily and challenged Flynn on the bottom, reclaiming the lead coming out of turn two on lap 15.

Flynn made an attempt at overtaking Bello going into four on lap 17, but a caution stopped his bid for the lead and it was Bello taking the field back to green. Blewett surprised them all, however, with a dive to the bottom groove and a new leader on the board.

Bello and Blewett both took turns up front before the hard charging Keith Rocco came up on their tail. On lap 21, Rocco went to the bottom into turn three and took the lead before pulling away to a comfortable five carlength advantage.

Rocco pulled away more and more with each lap with Flynn and Owen rounding out the top three as the laps ticked away. Meanwhile, Talman, who started the race out strong, had dropped back to 13th.

Rocco drove unchallenged to the checkered flag as he had set more than a two second advantage over second place finisher Flynn. Only two laps before the checkers, Christopher used the inside lane to challenge Owen for the third position and the two went side-by-side to the white flag with Christopher taking over the position by a nose, where he settled in for the checkers.

40-LAP SRX SK MODIFIED SHOWDOWN RESULTS: 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin CT; 2. Mikey Flynn, Hamden, MA; 3. Mike Christopher, Wolcott, CT; 4. Todd Owen, Somers, CT; 5. Corey DiMatteo, Farmington, CT; 6. Anthony Bello, Newton, CT; 7. Michael Gervais, Wolcott, CT; 8. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton, CT; 9. Noah Korner, Avon, CT; 10. Dylan Kopec, Meriden, CT; 11. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 12. Marcello Rufrano, North Haven, CT; 13. Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 14. Jonathan Puleo, Brandford, CT; 15. Steven Chapman, Ellington, CT; 16. Tyler Hines, North Haven, CT; 17. Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA; 18. Curt Brainard, Canton, CT; 19. Chris Jones, New Milford, CT; 20. John Sandberg, South Windsor, CT; 21. Jeff Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 22. Wesley Prucker, Stafford, CT; 23. RJ Marcotte, Millville, MA; 24. Stephen Kopcik, Newton, CT; 25. David Arute, Stafford Springs, CT.


  1. Ok. A couple of weeks ago, people were suggesting that Keith should get out of the 22 and go back to a house car AND suggesting something was amiss with Todd this year! Where is everyone now!

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