Keith Rocco celebrated as 60th Modified Track Champion; Tim Jordan, Al Stone III, Ken Cassidy Jr. and Allen Coates recognized as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champions; Anthony Flannery in Legends Cars
Waterford, CT – Over 500 guests gathered at Groton Inn & Suites on Saturday evening to celebrate Waterford Speedbowl’s 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and Saturday Legends Car series track champions. Keith Rocco capped a storybook 2010 season by collecting his 2010 SK Modified® championship accolades, the track’s top honor. Tim Jordan, Al Stone III, Ken Cassidy Jr. and Allen Coates were each honored as track champion of their respective NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division, with Anthony Flannery crowned in the Legends Cars.
In total, 80 teams and drivers were recognized for their efforts during the 2010 Speedbowl season. Special awards for the Top Rookie Driver, Sportsman of the Year, Most Improved Driver and Pit Crew of the Year in each of the six divisions were also given out.
Rocco, who resides in Meriden (CT), set the bar for the SK Modified® title high from the start. He won a special season opening event commemorating the 60th season of racing at the track, then claimed checkered flags in four of the next five Saturday night races. That bolted Rocco out to a point lead he would never relinquish. Rocco would not be denied his first SK Modified® track championship at the Speedbowl, capturing a total of 10 victories throughout the year - a single season record for wins in the division at the track. Mike and Mark Pane were recognized as the SK Modified® championship car owners, their first. Rocco was also the 2004 Street Stock division champion at the Speedbowl.
Rocco’s 10th Speedbowl win of 2010 also clinched the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship. He became the first Speedbowl driver in history to win the prestigious honor. Earlier this month Rocco was named by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance as the Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year in the state, the first driver to win the award in its existence.
Jordan claimed his second title in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Model division with the first coming in 2006. The Plainfield (CT) native won a division high four races and finished all 15 events in the top-10, the only driver to complete that feat. He snapped Bruce Thomas Jr.’s three-year championship streak in the division.
Al Stone III of New Haven (CT) took back the top honors in the Street Stock division, a crown he claimed in 2008. The championship went down to the final point event, with Stone overtaking Walt Hovey Jr. for the title in an exciting championship battle. Stone’s championship is his second and continues his rise as one of the best in the history of the class. He led the division with seven total victories in 2010, moving him to second on the all-time wins list for the class.
Lisbon (CT) native Ken Cassidy Jr. returned to the podium as the top driver in the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock division in 2010, his third title in the division. He out-dueled Danny Field in a championship tussle among two of the best ever to compete in the class. Each driver won five races throughout the season, but Cassidy posted more top-five and top-ten finishes leading him to the title. He was the Speedbowl’s 2007 and 2008 Mini Stock division champion.
Allen Coates of Ledyard (CT) won his second consecutive A.B. CDL Driver Training Center Truck Series crown, further solidifying his place in the record books. Nine victories in 2010 bumped Coates up to fourth in all-time Speedbowl wins with 80 total. Already the first driver to win titles in three different divisions at the Bowl, Coates now has six titles overall placing him among the elite. Three Late Model championships (1998, 2001, 2002) and a Street Stock championship (1996) join his Truck titles.
The Saturday Legends Cars series was dominated by sixteen year old Anthony Flannery of East Hampton (CT). Flannery became the youngest Saturday track champion in Speedbowl history. He won nine of 11 events in the Saturday series to win the crown easily. Flannery also was the track’s Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday Legends Cars champ in 2010 where he won another 10 races. He won a special event over the summer and all victories combined, became only the third driver in track history to reach 20 wins in a single year.
Picking up hardware for Top Rookies were Kyle James (SK Modifieds®), Jason Palmer (Late Models), Norm Sears (Street Stocks), Steve Violette (Mini Stocks) and Corey Coates (Trucks). For the Legends, Rookie of the Year honors went to Joey Mucciacciaro.
Sportsman of the Year Award winners were Glenn Pressell III (SK Modifieds®), Jeff Smith (Late Models), Kevin Talbot (Street Stocks), Christina Kellerman (Mini Stocks), Howard Payne (Trucks) and Ed Field (Legends Cars).
Taking home the Most Improved Driver honors were Joe Gada (SK Modifieds®), Brian Andronaco Jr. (Late Models), Ed Puleo (Street Stocks), Sean Caron (Mini Stocks), Keith Chapman (Trucks) and David Garbo Jr. (Legends Cars).
Pit Crew of the Year went to the teams of Rocco / M&M Motorsports (SK Modifieds®), Rich Staskowski (Late Models), Greg Moran Jr. / Moran Clan Racing (Street Stocks) and Ian Brew (Mini Stocks). The Trucks of Coates and Rocco, from Gregory Motorsports and Flannery / Anthony Flannery Racing (Legends) were the other recipients.
Sources: Wtaerfprd Speedbowl PR