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Keith Rocco To Make ARCA Menards East Series Debut At NHMS

August 18, 2020

One of the Northeast’s most well known short track racers will team up with the one of the country’s most recognizable short track regional teams for Full Throttle Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

RaceDayCT has learned exclusively that Keith Rocco will make his NASCAR ARCA Menards East Series debut driving for Venturini Motorsports on Sept. 12 at NHMS. 

“It’s absolutely exciting and really cool to have the opportunity to drive for such a well known and winning team,” Rocco, the 2010 NASCAR All-American Series National Champion, told RaceDayCT. “Hopefully we can fill the shoes of what they’re used to having and try to come out with a good finish there.” 

Rocco’s twin brother Jeff worked to bring the deal together with Venturini Motorsports. Nic Moncher, vice president of Marketing Partnerships for Venturini Motorsports, said Rocco has been on the radar of the organization’s developmental program in the past. 

“We were looking to get one race in this season in the hopes of building something for 2021 with Keith,” Moncher said. “We had an ARCA East slot available for New Hampshire and it just worked out for everyone. 

“… When we do our searches as part of our driver development program we do it with Toyota and others. The big thing we look for in drivers is their commitments to what they’ve done in their past histories in racing. Obviously Keith is a well known name. When Jeff called we immediately knew who he was. He’s somebody we’ve looked at in the past and for whatever reason we just never got anything to come together. I know he’s tried to do some stuff with [Kyle Busch Motorsports] in the past. But we know Keith is a guy who has really stuck to the [Northeast] with the Modifieds. When I brought this idea to [team owner Billy Venturini] he was really excited and that’s when we really went full bore in trying to make sure this happened.” 

Rocco has three career starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He was ninth in his last start at the track driving for team owner Chris Our in July 2015. 

Although Rocco’s focus for the bulk of his career has been driving open wheel Modifieds, he has plenty of experience running full-bodied cars. He has three Late Model division championships at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. 

“It’s exciting to do this,” Rocco said. “It’s going to be a little bit of a change from what I’m used to. Quite a bit of a change to adapt to something like that as far as not being able to drive it [into the corners] as far as we could drive a Modified in. The biggest thing is probably going to be adapting to that and backing the corner way up. Everything I drive lately is about driving it as hard as you can and drive it in as far as you can. But I’m looking forward to it and really looking forward to trying something new.”

Shawn Courchesne /