Keith Rocco Wins SK 150 at Stafford
Another Victory for Defending WAAS Champion
Stafford Motor Speedway PR
Stafford Speedway returned to racing with it's biggest race of the season, the 8th Annual CARQUEST SK 150.  Keith Rocco took the checkered flag and the $3,500 winner's check in the CARQUEST SK 150 for his third consecutive and fifth overall victory of the 2011 season.

In the 8TH Annual CARQUEST SK 150 feature event, the action was wild at the front as Tom Bolles made a three-wide move on the first lap to take the lead ahead of Michael Gervais, Jr. and Dan Avery.  Glen Reen was fourth with polesitter Sean Foster falling back to fifth place.  The order continued to shuffle as both Ryan Preece and Woody Pitkat took to the outside groove to move by everyone and take over first and second place on lap-7.  Reen was now third with Eric Berndt in fourth and Bolles had fallen back to fifth place.  The field began to stretch out a bit with Preece and Pitkat out front, while Reen and Berndt were nose to tail several car lengths behind the lead duo.

Keith Rocco and Todd Owen were the next two cars in line and they were about a half straightaway behind Reen and Berndt.  Reen and Berndt closed the gap to the lead cars of Pitkat and Preece and it was now a four-car train at the front of the pack with 20 laps complete.

Pitkat pulled to the inside of Preece on lap-25 and on lap-26 he moved by Preece to take over the lead.  Pitkat’s moved opened the door for Reen to follow Pitkat past Preece and two laps later Berndt would also move by Preece to drop Preece from the lead back to fourth place.  Rocco was still in fifth place, but he was clicking off the fastest laps of any car in the field and he was quickly closing in on the front four cars.

Rocco caught up to Preece and he moved past to take over fourth place on lap-34.  Reen was hounding Pitkat for the lead at the front, but he was not able to make a pass.  The caution came out for the first time on lap-38 for a spin by Vinny Anglace on the backstretch.  Heather DesRochers was sent to the rear of the field for contact with Anglace.

DesRochers spun on the lap-42 restart to bring the caution right back out.  Pitkat took the lead on the restart, but Reen moved by Pitkat for the race lead on lap-48.  Berndt was third with Rocco in fourth and Owen in fifth.

The caution came back out on lap-50 for a spin by Anglace in turn 4.

The race restarted on lap-54, but the caution came right back out as DesRochers’ car came to a stop in turn 4.  Reen and Pitkat stayed side by side on the lap-58 restart for the lead with Reen able to get clear of Pitkat on lap-59.  Rocco moved the inside of Pitkat for second and he made the pass on lap-61.  Berndt was fourth with Owen and Gervais behind him.

Rocco moved by Reen to take over the lead for the first time on lap-62.

Ryan Preece spun in turn 2 at the halfway point of the race to bring the caution back out.  The order for the restart would be Rocco and Reen on the front row, Pitkat and Berndt in the second row, and Frank Ruocco and Gervais in the third row.

Rocco took the lead on the lap-80 restart, but Pitkat went by Rocco for the lead on lap-82.  Pitkat stayed out front until lap-86 when Rocco moved back by Pitkat to retake the lead.  Reen spun in turn 2 on lap-87, but he was able to keep moving and the race stayed under green flag conditions.  Ruocco was now in third behind Rocco and Pitkat, with Berndt and Gervais making up the top-5.  Preece, who had spun not that long ago, was back up to sixth place behind Gervais.  Preece made a move to the outside of Gervais on
lap-94 to move into fifth place as Rocco continued to hold the race lead.

Anglace spun in turn 4 on lap-97 to bring the caution back out.

The race restarted on lap-101 with Anglace spinning in turn 1 to bring the yellow back out.  Rocco took the lead on the lap-106 restart with Pitkat, Ruocco, Preece, and Berndt quickly falling into single file behind him.
Ruocco bobbled on lap-118, which allowed Preece to take over third and Rocco and Pitkat stretched their advantage over the rest of the field.

Rocco pulled away from Pitkat over the final 32 laps to take a dominating victory in the CARQUEST SK 150, his first career win in the 150-lap event.

Pitkat came home in second, with Preece, Berndt, and Ruocco rounding out the top-5.

Keith Rocco picked up another SK Modified win at Stafford - this time in the longest race of the season.  (Rick Ibsen Photos)
Rocco (#88) battles Woody Pitkat up front at Stafford.