Keith Rocco Puts ’22 Troubles Behind Him; Scores First Of Season At Stafford Motor Speedway

Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to racing action with a Kids Night / Weekly Series program on Friday, July 22nd.

The kids big wheel race was won by Stafford Late Model driver Adam Gray’s son Jacob.

Keith Rocco put the troubles of his 2022 season behind him with his first win of the year in the SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray continued his hot streak of top-2 finishes with his fifth win of the season in the Late Model feature, Tyler Chapman scored his second win of the 2022 season in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn notched his second win of the 2022 season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Bobby Stirk, III took down his third win of the year in the Street Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the caution and red flags were displayed immediately as a multi-car incident broke out in turn 3 involving the cars of Stephen Kopcik, Nick Halkowicz, Dylan Kopec, and Curt Brainard.

Rocco took the lead on the restart with Dan Wesson, Troy Talman, Anthony Bello, and Jon Puleo lined up behind him. Bello pulled alongside Talman on lap-4 for third and he completed the pass on lap-5. Todd Owen took over fifth place on lap-6 and he moved into fourth on lap-8 to drop Talman back to fifth. Ronnie Williams took fifth from Talman on lap-12 while Wesson was looking for a way around Rocco for the race lead with Owen in third.

With 25 laps complete, Rocco was still leading Wesson with Bello third, Owen fourth, and Williams fifth. Tyler Hines was sixth with Michael Christopher, Jr. seventh, Anthony Flannery eighth, Marcello Rufrano ninth and Talman tenth. Talman spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 26 laps complete.

Rocco took the lead back under green with Bello taking second after several laps of wheel to wheel action with Wesson. Wesson slotted into third place with Williams taking fourth and Owen falling back to fifth. Bello couldn’t get close enough to Rocco to make a bid for the lead as Rocco scored his first win of what has been a very tough 2022 season. Wesson finished third with Williams and Owen rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Chris Meyer took the lead at the green with Paul Arute and Darrell Keane behind him but the caution came out after only one lap for a spin on the backstretch by Duane Noll.

Meyer took the lead back under green but he would lose the lead to Keane on lap-4. Andrew Molleur was third behind the two leaders with Adam Gray up to fourth and Arute fifth. Gray took third from Molleur on lap-6 and he went by Meyer to take second on lap-7. With 10 laps complete, Keane and pulled away from Gray in second with Meyer, Molleur, Arute, and Kevin Gambacorta all lined up tight behind the two leaders.

Gambacorta took fifth from Arute on lap-13 and Tom Fearn followed him by to take sixth and drop Arute back to seventh place. Gambacorta and Fearn both got by Meyer to move into fourth and fifth and Gambacorta took third from Molleur on lap-18. Fearn followed him by Molleur to take fourth on lap-19 to drop Meyer back to sixth as Gray continued to try to chase down Keane for the race lead.

Gray ran Keane down and with 5 laps to go he was right on the back bumper of Keane. Gray was able to make the pass to take over the lead on lap-27. Keane couldn’t get back to Gray as Gray took down his fifth win of the 2022 season. Gambacorta finished third with Tom Fearn and Molleur rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Jason Chapman and Cassandra Cole went wheel to wheel at the start of the race for the lead with Meghan Fuller third, Derek Debbis fourth and Norm Sears fifth. Chapman got clear into the lead on lap-3 while Fuller got loose in turn 2 and slid back to seventh place as Debbis took third, Sears fourth, Tyler Chapman fifth and Amanda West sixth. Josh Carey got into the wall to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete.

Jason Chapman took the lead on the restart with Debbis getting by Cole for second one lap after the restart. Tyler Chapman was up to fourth with Sears in fifth. Jason Chapman drifted up the track in turn 1 on lap-9 which allowed Debbis to streak into the race lead. Tyler Chapman took over second with Jason Chapman falling back to third just in front of Sears who was now fourth and Alexander Pearl in fifth. The caution came back out with 13 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Hailey Desaulniers.

Tyler Chapman took to the outside lane to get around Debbis and take over the lead on the restart. Sears was third in line with Fuller looking to take fourth place from Jason Chapman. Fuller took fourth on lap-17 with Jason Chapman now side by side with Pearl for fifth place. Pearl moved into fourth on lap-18 with Jason Chapman taking fifth as Fuller slid back to sixth place. Debbis couldn’t catch up to Tyler Chapman as Chapman took down his second win of the 2022 season. Sears finished third with Pearl and Jason Chapman rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Kevin Cormier streaked into the lead at the start of the race with Jay Clement behind him in second. Damian Palardy took third but he lost that spot to Alexandra Fearn on lap-2 and Fearn’s pass opened the door for Rich Hammann to take fourth and drop Palardy back to fifth, just in front of Matt Clement. Dana Wray spun on the backstretch to bring the caution flag out with 7 laps complete and Cormier still leading Jay Clement and Fearn.

Cormier took the lead on the restart but Jay Clement got into the backstretch wall, which set off a chain reaction that collected Matt Clement, Ari Jencik, and Rich Hammann to bring the caution right back out before another lap could be completed.

Cormier again took the lead on the restart with Fearn now in second. Palardy was third, Jeremy Lavoie was fourth, and Matt Scappini and Devon Jencik were side by side for fifth with Rich Hammann just behind them in seventh place. Lavoie got around Palardy on lap-10 to move into the lad with Fearn making a move to the inside of Cormier on lap-11 to take over the race lead. Hammann took a trip through the frontstretch grass on lap-12 but was able to continue and maintain seventh place. Wray spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 16 laps complete.

Fearn and Cormier ran side by side for a lap before Fearn got clear as the field completed lap-17. Behind Fearn, Lavoie went 3-wide to take second with Palardy third, Hammann fourth, and Scappini in fifth. Lavoie closed in on Fearn’s back bumper but couldn’t make a pass for the win as Fearn took down her second win of the 2022 season. Palardy finished third with Hammann and Scappini rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Tyler Trott took the lead on the first lap after running side by side with Chris Danielczuk. Bobby Stirk, III took second with Danielczuk third, Jason Finkbein fourth, and Travis Downey fifth. Downey took fourth from Finkbein on lap-3 and he continued to charge to the front by taking third from Danielczuk on lap-4. Travis Hydar followed Downey by Danielczuk to move into fourth with Adrien Paradis, III taking fifth as Danielczuk slid back to seventh place. Stirk took the lead from Trott on lap-6 with a pass in turns 3+4 with Downey and Hydar lined up behind Trott.

At the halfway point of the race, Stirk was still in command with Trott, Downey, Hydar, and Paradis still making up the top-5. Stirk led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2022 season. Trott finished second with Downey, Hydar, and Paradis rounding the top-5.

The Kids Big Wheel race was won by Jacob Gray of East Granby, MA. Gray is the son of Stafford Late Model driver Adam Gray.

 

SK MODIFIED® (40)

1) Keith Rocco, Berlin

2) Anthony Bello, Newtown

3) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA

4) Ronnie Williams, Tolland

5) Todd Owen, Somers

6) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton

7) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott

8) Tyler Hines, North Haven

9) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven

10) David Arute, Stafford Springs

11) Wesley Prucker, Stafford

12) Jon Puleo, Branford

13) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA

14) R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA

15) Bryan Narducci, Colchester

16) Noah Korner, Avon

17) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington

18) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott

19) Andrew Molleur, Shelton

20) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA

21) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA

22) Matt Vassar, Berlin

23) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown

24) Dylan Kopec, East Longmeadow, MA

25) Nick Halkowicz, Shelton

26) Curt Brainard, Canton

 

LATE MODEL (30)

1) Adam Gray, Granby, MA

2) Darrell Keane, Enfield

3) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington

4) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA

5) Andrew Molleur, Shelton

6) Michael Bennett, Willington

7) Chris Meyer, North Franklin

8) Paul Arute, Northbridge, MA

9) Michael Wray, Durham

10) John Blake, North Haven

11) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield

12) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin

13) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA

14) Adon Burrell, Barkhamsted

15) Duane Noll, Monroe

 

SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)

1) Tyler Chapman, Ellington

2) Derek Debbis, Oakdale

3) Norm Sears, Coventry

4) Alexander Pearl, Salem

5) Jason Chapman, Ellington

6) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA

7) Tyler Barry, Griswold

8) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury

9) Chris Matthews, Stafford

10) Bob Charland, Stafford

11) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield

12) Amanda West, Colchester

13) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook

14) Nick Anglace, Seymour

15) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford

16) Tyler Alkas, Berlin

17) Ron Midford, Jr., Ellington

18) Casey Vogt, Windsor Locks

19) Brandon Hunt, Windsor

20) Brandon Michael, Granville, MA

21) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA

22) Charles McDougall, Wallingford

23) Hailey Desaulniers, Windham

24) Anthony Forino, Waterbury

25) Chris Bagnall, Norfolk

26) Josh Carey, Belchertown, MA

27) Mike Parolo, West Springfield, MA

 

LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)

1) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA

2) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks

3) Damian Palardy, Willington

4) Rich Hammann, Tolland

5) Matt Scappini, Litchfield

6) Devon Jencik, Canton

7) Kevin Cormier, Agawam, MA

8) Trinity Provost, Holland, MA

9) Dana Wray, Durham

10) Jay Clement, Wethersfield

11) Matt Clement, Wethersfield

12) Ari Jencik, Canton

13) Gary Patnode, New Hartford

14) Scott Clement, Wethersfield

 

STREET STOCK (20)

1) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck

2) Tyler Trott, East Hartford

3) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted

4) Travis Hydar, Woodbury

5) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville

6) Jason Finkbein, Manchester

7) Bert Ouellette, Ellington

8) Jason Lafayette, Somers

9) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin

10) Marvin Minkler, Stamford

11) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen

12) David Macha, Sr., Columbia

13) Bill Cote, Belchertown, MA

14) David Macha, Jr., Columbia

15) Brandon Warren, Chicopee, MA

16) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs

17) Cindy Stirk, Naugatuck

18) Andras Bogi, Macungie, PA

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