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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Keith Rocco has been named the 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winner in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Rocco, from Wallingford, Conn., recorded five top-10 finishes in eight starts during the season. He posted an average finish of 13th with a best result of third place in the Spring Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on April 29.
Rocco missed six events – nearly half of the 14-race schedule – due to an injury suffered in practice for a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in July. He ranked ninth in the overall points standings after six races prior to the injury.
The 27-year-old was able to compete in the season’s final two Whelen Modified Tour races to secure Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. In his eight total starts he also captured Sunoco Rookie of the Race honors on five occasions. Seven of his eight appearances came in the Boehler Racing Enterprises No. 3 “Ole Blue” Chevrolet.
In spite of the injury, Rocco was also able to finish as the national runner-up in Whelen All-American Series competition for the third time in the last four seasons. The one year Rocco wasn’t the runner-up, 2010, he captured the national title.
Rocco will be recognized for his Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.