Keith Rocco, driver of the No. 22 Modified for Our Motorsports, will forego competing in Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 in order to chase his third career SK Modified championship at New London-Waterford Speedbowl (CT), according to team owner Chris Our.
“Keith is not going,” Our told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Nothing is wrong between Keith and I at all. Keith is in the points battle at Waterford and he doesn’t want to let those guys down. He had a little bit of a lead in points from what I understand and he crashed or something last week, so he kind of got behind the eight ball a little bit. As far as the timing for him to get back from Loudon to go in the heat races and features wasn’t probable. He asked me what I thought and I had no problem.”
Rocco currently trails Tyler Chadwick by four points in the championship standings after a 17th-place finish one week ago. It’s possible that Rocco could have raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and made it back to Waterford, CT in time for the feature event, but he more than likely would have missed out on valuable heat race points.
Our said he was very understanding of Rocco’s decision and commitment to his SK Modified team at “The Speedbowl.” Our now plans to put Modified veteran Ted Christopher behind the wheel of the primary red No. 22 car instead of the black No. 23 he was originally going to drive as Rocco’s teammate.
“I swapped numbers and put the 22 back on Teddy’s car to keep the points rolling,” Our said.
The 2015 season has been a rollercoaster ride up until this point for Our and his team, which is led by crew chief Brad Lafontaine. It began with the suspension of 2014 Bristol winner Tommy Barrett, Jr. and continued when Rocco suffered a wrist injury in April.
“He got hurt so I understand that,” Our said. “He was very honest and up front about the whole thing when he got hurt. I had to make a change at that moment. It’s just kind of been a tough year for us with everything that has happened with Tommy Barrett and then Keith breaking his hand. Then we missed a couple races. It’s been a little tough.”
For Our, there would be no better remedy for a tough season than a win on the big stage at “The Magic Mile” on Saturday with driver Ted Christopher.
“We’d love to and Teddy has the experience. Hopefully we can dice it up out front, that would be real nice.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com