Thompson, CT — Keith Rocco couldn’t practice or qualify for the Sunoco Modified feature at Thompson International Speedway due to commitments to practice for the Whelen Modified Tour. But starting from the rear didn’t stop Rocco at all. The Meriden, CT-native went from last to first in an exciting 30-lap feature during Thursday night Thunder that also saw Scott Sundeen win an extended race distance for the Limited Sportsman division. Other winners included Cam McDermott in the Lite Modifieds, Trevor Michalski in the Mini Stocks, John Lowinski-Loh in the Thompson Modifieds, and Mike Scorzelli in the Late Models.
John Catania took the early lead in the Sunoco Modified division, but it was all Todd Ceravolo at the completion of the first lap after Catania went high in turn two allowing Ceravolo to power right by for the lead. The top-four – Ceravolo, Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher, and Kerry Malone – were bumper-to-bumper as they pulled away from the rest of the field. Keith Rocco, who had to start at the tail end of the field, was fast approaching and sitting seventh when the caution flew at lap six. Ceravolo beat Preece to the front on the restart with Malone powering to second on the inside. Malone spun to the infield grass coming out of turn two and brought out the caution with Ceravolo, Preece, and Christopher making up the top-three. Ceravolo, Preece, Christopher, and Rocco settled in single file when racing resumed, but Ceravolo put some breathing room between himself and Preece by lap 10. On lap 11, Christopher dove low and got around Preece for second with Rocco in tow. A caution on lap 12 put Ceravolo side-by-side with Christopher for the restart with a determined Rocco and Preece right behind them. When the green dropped, Christopher beat Ceravolo into turn one with Rocco looking high and low for a way around both of them. As the trio entered turn one, troubled brewed when Ceravolo took Christopher low. Christopher retaliated and Ceravolo’s night ended in the outside retaining wall in turn two. Christopher was penalized and sent to the rear of the field while Rocco inherited the lead. Rocco had to earn his position up front as Preece filled his rear view mirror. A caution at lap 20 slowed the pace with Rocco powering out to the front followed by Malone and Christopher. Preece was relegated to fourth and remained there until the caution came out at lap 22. On the restart, Rocco went back out front with a challenge by Malone in turn three, but Rocco shut the door. The top four fell into single file, but running bumper to bumper until Rocco took the checkered flag.
Scott Sundeen survived a multi-car crash and several restarts to take the lead and eventual victory in the Limited Sportsman 30-lap feature event. Lloyd Anderson powered to the front of the 27-car field at the drop of the green. The first caution of the night flew at lap six with Anderson returning to the front when the green dropped, however, a tangle on the backstretch brought caution back out before the lap was complete. When racing resumed, Anderson had his hands full with Steve Kenneway, who took the lead at the line at lap seven while a pile-up developed right behind them in turn four that involved Sundeen. Kenneway powered right back out front after the clean up with Anderson getting held up briefly by a challenge from Mike Caprio. Anderson shut the door and set his sights on Kenneway, and at lap 13, made his first attempt to get by for the lead. At lap 14, Anderson looked high, but caution slowed his progress and Kenneway remained out front. Anderson was late getting into the throttle on the restart allowing Kenneway to pull away with Barnett taking over second. Barnett closed in on Kenneway quickly with Sundeen getting into the mix with a bottom-groove challenge on Barnett. At the line, Kenneway led Sundeen and Barnett. Coming out of turn four of lap 19, Sundeen went low again and charged Kenneway in a bid for the lead, but before he could get it done, caution was out and Kenneway remained the leader. Sundeen drove right to the front heading into turn one when the action returned with Kenneway close behind. Sundeen pulled away by a comfortable margin. Kenneway attempted to close the distance lap after lap, but it wasn’t enough, and Sundeen was able to claim the victory in the longest distance race of the season.