In the first two events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) in 2016, Keith Rocco has experienced a mixed bag of good news and bad news.
The bad news is that “Kid Roc” has had no luck in Late Model competition, crashing out with his brother Jeff on Icebreaker weekend.
As for the Sunoco Modifieds, there is plenty of good news for Rocco as he made it a perfect two for two on Wednesday night. Rocco assumed the lead from Rowan Pennink with an inside move near the halfway point in the 30-lap feature.
Ryan Preece broke through to second a couple of laps later and closed the distance on Rocco, but the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National champion Nad things well in hand at the front of the field.
“When I got out front I had such a big lead, my spotter reads me lap times that I knew what we were and just to save some because there’s always that late race caution. I didn’t want to completely kill the tires,” Rocco explained to the media. “So I let him get to three car lengths and kept it there.”
The late yellow did not appear as Rocco was able to ease to the finish line in the caution-free feature ahead of Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat, Rowan Pennink, and Ronnie Williams.
Rocco has shifted rides in the Sunoco Modifieds the last few seasons running both his own car and for owner Todd Ceravalo, but Rocco moved back to run for the Payne family in 2016, a team he has won championships with at both Thompson and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. He has made an immediate statement about what the combination is capable of.
“It says a lot. It’s not only preparing the car, and having a fast car, but you need to be relaxed out front,” said Rocco. “All that stuff makes a difference in racing, that’s the kind of situation we’re in right now. We’re having fun and winning races. I think it’s going to get better from here on out. “I didn’t know if we’d have success (right away), I knew we’d have fun though.”
The two for two theme continued throughout the rest of the evening with William Wall in the Late Models, Josh Wood in Limited Sportsman, and Dave Trudeau in the Mini Stocks all defending their wins from Icebreaker weekend.
Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions are back in action on Wednesday, June 1.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, LI) – Twitter @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com