WATERFORD, CT — If it’s opening weekend at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, it likely means Keith Rocco celebrating when the SK Modified feature is over.
Rocco, of Wallingford, captured the victory in the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Sunday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl’s Bud Blastoff 2016.
Sunday’s SK Modified feature was one of eight features rescheduled from Saturday’s original program, which was suspended because of rain.
Other winners on Sunday included Al Stone III in the Limited Sportsman division, Tony Membrino Jr. in the SK Light feature, Wayne Burroughs Jr. in the Mini Stock event, Dana DiMatteo in the Legends feature, Bert Ouellette in the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series race, Dave Gargaro Jr. in the X-Car feature and Dave Yardley III in the Super X-Car race.
The event marked the seventh time in the last eight years that Rocco as won the opening SK Modified event at the track. Rocco also won Saturday’s Late Model feature at the Speedbowl. He has swept both the SK Modified and Late Model features at the last five Bud Blastoff events at Waterford.
Ted Christopher of Plainville was second in the SK Modified feature and Rob Janovic Jr. of Waterford third.
Janovic took the SK Modified field to green from the pole with Monahan on his outside.
Caution flew on lap 12 when Bo Gunning went to the infield in turn two.
Janovic held the top spot on the restart but the caution quickly flew again for a multi-car pileup on the frontstretch on lap 13.
Following the cleanup it was Janovic again getting the advantage over Monahan on the restart.
Janovic held on again through a lap 23 restart, but Monahan gave him two hard taps before the completion of the lap.
On lap 26 Monahan stuck his nose under Janovic going into turn one. The two had contact and Janovic was forced to save a sliding car while Monahan went to the front.
But two laps later, Monahan ended up in the frontstretch wall while battling for the lead with Rocco.
The caution flew again on lap 31 when rookie Paul Buzel got into the wall in turn four. On the ensuing restart, Christopher was able to go to the outside pass Janovic for second place, but Christopher couldn’t get close enough to challenge Rocco at the front.
Stone, of Durham, began defense of his 2015 Limited Sportsman championship at the track in dominating fashion in the division’s 25-lap feature.
Monte Gibbs of Killingworth was second and Ed Gertsch Jr. of East Haven third.
Stone went past Chris Meyer for the lead on the first lap and never again relinquished the top spot.
Gibbs and Gertsch swapped second place four times over the final eight laps, but neither had anything to contend with Stone’s dominance.
Burroughs, of Oakdale, beginning defense of his 2015 Mini Stock championship at the Speedbowl, started on the pole and led every lap on the way to victory in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
Dave Trudeau of Mansfield was second and Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon third.
Trudeau got to second on a lap nine restart but was left chasing down Burroughs on each ensuing restart.
Membrino, of Berlin, scored his first career SK Light Modified victory at the Speedbowl.
Brett Gonyaw of Vernon was second and Corey DiMatteo of Farmington third.
On a lap four restart Membrino moved to second behind DiMatteo. After another caution it was Membrino moving to the lead past DiMatteo on a lap nine restart.
Gonyaw moved to second past DiMatteo on lap 17 and stalked Membrino over the final circuits, but had to settle for a second place finish. DiMatteo, of Farmington, was third.
Dana DiMatteo, of Farmington, started second in the Legends feature, went to the lead early and went unchallenged at the front the rest of the way in the 25-lap feature.
Noah Korner of Canton came out on top of a feisty mid-race battle for second with Scott Limkemann and finished second. Mike Flynn of Hampden, Mass. was third.
Gargaro, of Cranston, R.I., passed Richard Nye of Groton for the lead on lap 19 and won the 20-lap X-Car feature.
Christopher Thomas of Waterford was second and Nye was third.
Nye had driven away from the field over the first 17 laps before the caution flew to bunch up the field and setup the late showdown for victory.
Yardley, of Kensington, held off Ray Reed, of Plainfield, in a side-by-side battle over the closing three laps of the 20-lap Super X-Car feature.
Yardley was able to clear Reed on the final lap. Reed finished second and Marc Shafer of Groton third.
Ouellette, of Ellington, rolled easily to victory in the 25-lap Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series feature.
Jerry Giordano Jr. of Riverhead, N.Y. was second and Tyler Chapman of Waterford third.
Ouellette went to the lead with a backstretch pass of Chapman following a lap 15 restart.
-New London-Waterford Speedbowl Press Release
-Photo Credit: New London-Waterford Speedbowl