Rocco Edges TC is Thrilling SK 100 Lapper at Stafford    
Youth Outdoes Experiences This Time Around
Track PR Report
After two soggy weeks, Stafford Speedway returned to racing under bright and sunny skies with the 36th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100.  Keith Rocco and Ted Christopher put on a duel for the ages in the extra distance event, with Rocco coming out as the winner for the second time this year.

The 36th Annual Coors Light SK Modified® 100 took the green with Brad Hietala, Tom Bolles, and Richie Pallai, Jr. at the front of the field.  Hietala and Bolles ran side by side for several laps before Hietala got
clear to the lead.  Pallai made a power move by Bolles on a lap-5 restart and they dueled for the race lead.

A caution with 26 laps complete slowed the action and set up a restart.  On the restart, Hietala and Pallai made contact, sending Pallai towards the wall where he collected Bolles and brought the caution back out.  This put Matt Gallo and Jeff Malave on the front row with Matt Gallo and Doug Coby behind them.  Rocco quickly took the race lead from Gallo, but Pallai hit head on into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution back out one lap after the restart.

Rocco held the lead on the restart, with Ted Christopher, who was involved in an early race spin with Woody Pitkat on lap-4, moving into second.  Coby held third, with Gallo and Eric Berndt making up the top-5.  Rocco held the lead until lap-38, when Christopher moved to the front.  Coby continued to run in third place, with Berndt and Malave making up the remainder of the top-5.

With the exception of a caution period with 52 laps complete for a spin by Woody Pitkat, the top-5 cars ran in line until lap-65, which is when the race turned into a great duel between Christopher and Rocco.  On lap-65 Rocco moved by Christopher to take the lead only to have Christopher go with a crossover move to get back to the front.  But the caution came out before lap-66 could be completed, which put Rocco on the point for the restart.

From lap-66 to lap-80, Christopher and Rocco exchanged the race lead five times with spectacular, breathtaking passing.  On lap-80, Rocco moved by Christopher for the lead, but Christopher again used the crossover move to his advantage to retake the lead.  Christopher was able to stay out front until lap-85, when Rocco went back by.  Rocco pulled Christopher by several car lengths and he maintained that lead over the final 15 laps to take his second feature victory of the 2009 season.  Christopher finished second,
with Coby, Malave, and Jimmy Blewett rounding out the top-5.

SK MODIFIED® (100)
Results

1) Keith Rocco, Wallingford
2) Ted Christopher, Plainville
3) Doug Coby, Milford
4) Jeff Malave, Manchester
5) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, Nj
6) Kenny Horton, Guilford
7) Curt Brainard, Canton
8) Wade Mattesen, Tolland
9) Zach Sylvester, Lebanon
10) Todd Owen, Somers
11) Matt Gallo, Kensington
12) Sean Foster, Ellington
13) Kurt Lenahan, Roxbury
14) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
15) Joe Allegro, Jr., Vernon
16) Paul Charette, Woodstock
17) Kirk Zervas, Winthrop, Ma
18) Rich Hammann, Tolland
19) Nichole Morgillo, Yalesville
20) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
21) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
22) Frank Hirt, Danbury
23) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
24) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, Ny
25) Michael Speeney, Newtown, Pa
26) Brad Hietala, Ellington
27) Tom Bolles, Ellington
28) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Ma
29) Chris Jones, New Milford





Ted Christopher (#13) and Keith Pocco (#88) slices and diced for the lead at Stafford.  (Rick Ibsen Photos)
Keith Rocco in victory lane.