Rocco Hopes To Have A Leg Up On The Competition At Waterford
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The two-time defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco is banking on his extensive experience at the southeastern Connecticut facility to give him a leg up on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition in the Mr. Rooter 161 on Saturday, June 23.
From Wallingford, Conn., Rocco has racked up the weekly wins at his home track in the last decade. He has 50 career victories at Waterford between SK Modifieds (42), Sportsmen (4), Late Models (2) and Trucks (2) since 2003. That total constitutes nearly half of his career wins total, now more than 100.
Although he also runs weekly shows at the other two Connecticut tracks – Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway – Waterford figures to provide Rocco with a distinct advantage on the rest of the Whelen Modified Tour field. The Tour annually has between seven and nine races at Stafford and Thompson, but hasn’t visited Waterford since 2006.
Rocco acknowledges that some of the Whelen Modified Tour’s veterans have plenty of laps at Waterford as well, but his recent weekly experience will pay immediate dividends on Saturday.
|The Race||Mr. Rooter 161|
|The Place||Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl|
|The Date||Saturday, June 23|
|The Time||9 p.m. ET (approx.)|
|Broadcast||NASCAR Home Tracks Radio, live at www.nascarhometracks.com|
|Track Layout||.375-mile asphalt oval|
|Event Schedule||Practice 1:30-2:30 p.m., Qualifying 4 p.m., 6 p.m. Driver Autograph Session|
|Track Contact||Brian Darling, (860) 442-1585, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|NASCAR Contact||Jason Cunningham, (704) 201-6658, email@example.com, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE|
Competition is tight through the first two months of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Waterford Speedbowl. Through June 16, Tyler Chadwick was the leader in the track’s headline division – the SK Modifieds – at 415 points. Jeff Pearl trailed by just two points with two-time defending track champion Keith Rocco in third at 401. The Speedbowl’s other current Saturday division leaders include: Paul French (SK Light), Dillon Moltz (Late Model), Christopher Meyer (Street Stock), Ken Cassidy Jr. (Mini Stock) and Paul Kusheba IV (Legend). Waterford also has a weekly “Wild `n Wacky Wednesday” program that includes five divisions.
The most recent NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race was held at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on May 25. Here are some highlights from the TSI Harley-Davidson 125:
• In a race that was mostly dominated by polesitter Bobby Santos, Doug Coby made a late-race move for the lead and drove away with his second victory of the season. It was his fourth career win.
• The victory also sent Coby to the top of the standings for the first time in 2012.
• The pole was the eighth of Santos’ career, and his first with the No. 44 team.
• Defending champion and previous points leader Ron Silk finished third, and has top fives in each of the season’s first four races.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first of two races on the “Magic Mile” on Saturday, July 14 with the Town Fair Tire 100. The Tour has held 55 races at the Loudon, N.H., facility since 1990, more than any other track outside of Connecticut. Practice and qualifying with be held on Friday with the Town Fair Tire 100 set to go green on Saturday at 1 p.m.
10 a.m. NWMT Haulers Enter
10:30 a.m. NWMT Garage Opens
1:30 p.m. Grandstand Opens
1:30-2:30 p.m. NWMT Practice
2:45 p.m. NWAAS Garage Opens
3:30 p.m. NWAAS Practice
4:45 p.m. NWAAS Drivers Meeting
5 p.m. NWMT Qualifying
6 p.m. NWMT Drivers Meeting
6:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
6:35 p.m. NWAAS Features Begin
7 p.m. NWMT Driver Autograph Session
9 p.m. NWMT Mr. Rooter 161 (161 Laps, 60.375 Miles)
All times ET and subject to change
CAR DRIVER/HOMETOWN TEAM OWNER CREW CHIEF
2 Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn. Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Const. Ford Mike Smeriglio, III Phil Moran
3 Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn. * Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Const. Chevrolet Jan Boehler Scott Richards
4 Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y. Mystic Missile Racing Dodge Robert Garbarino Dan Laferriere
6 Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn. Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Schnitzer Chevrolet Ed Partridge Tom Grasso
07 Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y. Emerling Chevrolet Dealership Chevrolet Jennifer Emerling Mike Paquette
16 Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn. Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford Eric Sanderson Stan Szaban
18 Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y. Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Ford Robert Pollifrone Greg Gorman
26 Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Lakeland Landscape/TRC Electric Pontiac Sean McDonald Chad McDonald
28 Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn. Ron Bouchard's Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet Don King Tommy Trcka
33 Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn. Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet Beth Cole Rick Rodenbaugh
36 Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn. AL-Lee Installations Chevrolet Eddie Whelan Rico Mariani
38 John Jensen, Wolcott, Conn. * Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet Linda Rodenbaugh Jake Marosz
45 Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa. Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford Dave DeLange Ryan Plourde
46 Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn. North End Auto Parts/Cape Cod Agts Chevrolet Robert Katon, Jr. Richard Rotundo
51 Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y. M3 Technology Chevrolet Kenneth Massa Aaron Clifford
52 Doug Coby, Milford, Conn. Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet Wayne Darling John McKenna
58 Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y. Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet Edgar Goodale Jason Shephard
64 Ron Yuhas Jr., Groton, Conn. DreamRide.org/Hughes Motors Chevrolet Mike Murphy Stephen Dodge
66 Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I. Town Line Farm/Xtreme Auto Ford Ed Marceau Brad Lafontaine
76 Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J. John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet John Blewett Sr. Kevin Crowley
79 Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass. Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac Sandra Hill David Hill
88 Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y. Buzz Chew Chevrolet/GT Vodka Chevrolet Buzz Chew Ron Ste-Marie
93 Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet Mark Pennink Don Barker
99 Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J. Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet Trey Tomaino Trey Tomaino
*Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
Entry list as of 6/18