All eyes were on Keith Rocco as he needed a win on Friday night to keep his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship hopes alive. Rocco needed to win on Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway, and again on Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, as well as have points leader Matt Bowling not win a race in order for him to claim his second NWAAS national championship.
But a second championship wasn’t in the cards for Rocco, the 2010 national champion, finished fifth. His chase for the championship is now over, regardless of what he does on Saturday at Waterford.
The NWAAS national championship now comes down to Saturday night’s races. Matt Bowling and Ty Majeski both run twin features. Bowling at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway, and Majeski at Minnesota’s Elko Speedway. If Bowling wins one of those races, the battle is over and the championship is his. If Majeski sweeps at Elko and Bowling fails to win, they would tie and points and Majeski would win via a tiebreaker.
While everybody was focused on Rocco, Glen Reen snuck in under the radar to pick up his first Stafford SK Modified victory. He has now scored wins every level of Modified competition in Connecticut. Rowan Pennink avoided multiple incidents to clinch his second-straight SK Modified championship at Stafford as well.
Been took the lead on a restart just past halfway when leader Ronnie Williams failed to get up to speed. Williams’ poor restart stalled the inside line, allowing Reen to go to third and then shoot the gap to the inside to take the lead from Jeff Barel.
“I think Ronnie missed a shift or something like that and I just saw a hole and went for it. The car was so good, I could put it anywhere I wanted, once I saw the hole open I was like ‘this is it’. As soon as I got there I just had a feeling, this is the night I’m going to do double,” said Reen after the race who pulled away on the green flag run to the end after the restart.
#TheWatch continues on Saturday night, so be sure to follow @speed51dotcom on Twitter to keep up with everything that happens as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship is decided.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen