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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen All-American Series





Denise DuPont

The 2012 local track race season is officially over this weekend with the honoring of Champions in Charlotte with NASCAR award ceremonies held in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center portion of the NASCAR Hall of Fame complex. Friday festivities were dedicated to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Drivers from the top ranks of the Whelen All American Series State/Provincial, Track, Program and Rookie divisions were recognized for their 2012 accomplishments.

Whelen Engineering VP of Motorsports, Phil Kurze, summarized everyone’s achievements of all in five short words: “Ability, Commitment, Dedication, Sacrifice and Success”. And for everyone that participates in the sport of racing whether on the track, in the grandstand, in the press box or at home, those words ring out to cover it all when you are involved in racing.

Keith Rocco 2012 race season was filled with up and downs. He gave the race season his all competing weekly at Connecticut’s Stafford, Thompson and Waterford tracks. Mid-season his season came to an abrupt stop. He sustained a wrist injury which sidelined him for a couple of weeks and then an altercation which led to suspension.

But “Kid Roc” is not a quitter. He bounced back to capture the 2012 Connecticut State Championship and also finished second in the Whelen All American Series National Championship running. “It was actually a really good feeling ending up second. You would really thing that it would be a disappointment but after what we went through with my wrist and with it being such a long difficult season. I was winning so much in the beginning of the year at Stafford that it felt really good to be back down here and back on the podium. To represent just how hard my guys and the team work, this is my way of re-paying them. My parents could not be any more proud of me and it just is a really great feeling. “

Ryan Preece competed weekly at both Stafford and Thompson Speedways and his hard efforts were rewarded with Thompson’s Sunoco Modified track championship. “This is cool. We had Stafford last year so we definitely wanted Thompson this year. We have been running weekly for two years so it is pretty cool to win two championships. The one at Thompson especially this year with the year that we had there with the ten wins which was really phenomenal. So I am real happy. If Thompson has a full schedule next year maybe we can try to do it again.

In addition to the track championship, Preece finished fifth overall in the Whelen All American Series Top 40 Drivers. “That is pretty cool. We keep on edging up one spot every year. So we are going to make a run at it next year to push to try to see if we can clinch off a National Championship Spot. But we will see. It is not easy. I have really good car owners and really good car, so we definitely have the equipment to do it. I will have to wait and see if everything plays out my way.”

Woody Pitkat finished first in NASCAR’s 2012 Division II Asphalt program after running weekly at both Stafford and Thompson Speedway. “Honestly I did not really know I came in first in this area until the end of it. We set our goal to try to win that with a Late Model, but we really wanted to win the Track Championship after being real close the last two years. And they wanted to win the NASCAR title and the National Champion. It is a cool accomplishment and I am psyched. It is really cool to be here and see everybody and meet new people.”

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: December 7, 2012

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