Rocco, state tracks rev into 2014

Connecticut’s short-track auto racing opens today at Thompson International Speedway and at the Waterford Speedbowl.

In the middle of the buzz is Keith Rocco. The Wallingford native is defending Modified champ at both tracks.

Rocco is back not only to defend those titles, but to expand his game on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. This year, for the first time, Rocco will compete in all Tour races that run on Connecticut tracks, starting with Sunday’s 150-lap Icebreaker at Thompson.

That race will be star-studded. Eight former Whelen series champs are expected to race, including Berlin’s Ryan Preece, who won last year, and Plainville’s Ted Christopher.

As far as the weekly series go, Waterford has a full card on tap for Saturday, its usual racing night. Rocco is defending champ in the Speedbowl’s Modified and Late Model divisions.

Thompson, which typically runs its weekly races on Thursday, holds all season-opening races on Sunday. Practice and qualifying in all divisions is Saturday.

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