As has become tradition, the New England short-track racing season got underway this past weekend with the Budweiser Blast-Off at the Waterford Speedbowl in Conn. Despite a soggy start to the festivities, and winter-like temperatures throughout, the track's management managed to get in all of the scheduled racing. A big kudos to all involved there.
Without further ado, here's a look at who made the podium:
1. KEITH ROCCO, Wallingford, Conn.
Driving his own car for the first time in weekly SK Modified competition, Rocco picked up right where he left off in 2011.
The 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion and 2011 national runner-up won both the 62-lap SK Modified feature and the 50-lap Late Model feature for owner Scott Fearn on Sunday at Waterford.
“It’s a great feeling to come out in the first race and be able to win right out of the box,” Rocco told The Hartford Courant.
2. DARRELL WALLACE JR., Mobile, Ala.
Wallace earned his sixth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday night. It was the first win of the season for Wallace, who moved from Rev Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing following 2011, and it vaulted him to the top of the series standings through two events.
3. JON McKENNEDY, Carlisle, Mass.
McKennedy hopped in the car of legendary Modified owner Art Barry on Sunday, and he led every lap in his maiden voyage with the team to take the Valenti Modified Racing Series 100 at Waterford. The two-time VMRS champion started from the outside pole in the main event.
New York native George Brunnhoelzl III, a the reigning NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, led every lap to take the Tour's season-opening Spring Fling 150 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., on Saturday night... Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., finished second in the VMRS 100 at Waterford Speedbowl... Norm Wrenn of Nashua, N.H., started dead last in the field and drove all the way to third at the checkered flag in the VMRS 100, despite going down a lap early in the event... Corey LaJoie of Concord, N.C., finished second in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 to match his career-best series finish, while Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass., a five-time New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner in his career, finished fifth.