In just under five years, Troy Talman has become a recognized face in the Modified circles of New England, quickly rising from SK Lights to SK Modifieds and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in quick succession. After drifting around the Tour Mod ranks in 2016, running his own equipment, Talman knew change was in order for 2017, finding a good ride even if it wasn’t a Tour-type. He found that opportunity under the direction of 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National champion Keith Rocco, who had an open seat in an SK Modified for the 2017 Sunoco Modified season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).
Wednesday night, in just his second outing in the ‘Kid Roc’ prepared Troyer, Talman showed skill and muscle in the 30-lap feature, holding off some of the best in the Northeast on multiple restarts and a long run to end the race, taking his first ever win behind the wheel of an SK Modified.
“It’s surreal, I was thinking, ‘Is this really happening,’ I didn’t think I’d win second time out, the way the cautions flew around Lap 12, I didn’t think we’d get past Lap 12,” Talman said of the race.
While the drive was impressive, especially on the restarts, he gave the majority of credit to Rocco for giving him a car that was nearly bulletproof.
“It was a good day from the start. We unloaded off the trailer really fast in first practice and that’s all to the work of Keith Rocco at the shop. He really puts an emphasis on getting it right at the shop, arriving at the track and not doing much. It’s a testament to his hard work and dedication that he has for not just his car but all his cars. I wouldn’t want to drive for anyone else. That car made my job easy. I think the biggest part that the driver makes a difference is restarts. He’s got to be on the ball there, and the car does what it does.”
While he is still planning to run some bigger events, including the Open Wheel Wednesday event at Seekonk Speedway, June 28, Talman is focused on the Thompson campaign and that will make him a better driver than when he came in.
“Yeah, I think this is definitely the right situation for me to improve as a driver, with how well prepared the cars is, I just need to focus on my abilities. I think I can get the most out of any car that I can get in to. But I also need to work on my race craft and I think this enables me to work on that.”
The Sunoco Modifieds are back in action at Thompson on Saturday, July 8 as a part of the program feature the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com