PHOTO: The morning pit party was a highlight of the Budweiser Blastoff Weekend at Waterford Speedbowl. (Ricky St. Clair/VMM photo)

— by Ricky St. Clair and T.J. Ingerson

WATERFORD, Conn. — The day has finally arrived that New England racing fans have circled on their calendars for months. Budweiser Blastoff Sunday is here. The six features on the card exhibits some of the best talent in New England. That talent and the mostly sunny weather Mother Nature has provided should result in a great day of racing.

Waterford Speedbowl staff moved the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature up in the running order. There is a chance of a mid-afternoon shower, which officials hope to avoid. The SK Modifieds will start the racing day with their traditional lap count — a 62-lapper that celebrates the 62nd year of Waterford Speedbowl. The thrilling NEMA Midgets, ultra-exciting Mini Stocks will precede the Valenti Modified Racing Series 100. The Waterford Late Models and the Street Stocks will finish out the racing day.

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Waterford Speedbowl provides a unique experience for the fans with their pit party located on the frontstretch. It’s a great opportunity for those in attendance to mingle and talk with the stars that they will see in competition. Nearly 100 cars filled the racing surface from the fourth turn to the first turn, and fans were able to get up close to the cars.

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Steak Loft. Mystic, Connecticut. Check. It. Out.

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Keith Rocco of Meriden, Conn., survived a family affair with future father-in-law Todd Ceravolo in Sunday afternoon’s 62-lap SK Modified feature at Waterford Speedbowl. The 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion drove under Ceravolo in turns one and two on lap 14 to take the lead and never relinquished it to claim his first victory of the season.

A late race caution on lap 57 setup a five-lap dash between potential contenders Rocco, Ceravalo, and Rob Janovic Jr., who battled from his ninth place starting position in the field. Rocco was unable to break into a rhythm, and Janovic capitalized by pressuring Rocco, making contact numerous times in the closing stages of the event.

“If (Janovic) wasn’t hitting my bumper, then I might have been worried because I know he was probably trying to go around me,” Rocco said. “If he can’t pass me, he’s going to let me know he’s there. So, he was trying to give me a little shove here and there.”

Janovic, Ceravolo, Jeff Pearl, and Doug Coby rounded out the top five. Tyler Chadwick, James Monahan, Randy Churchill Jr., Jeff Rocco, and Jeff Gallup completed the official top 10.

The extra-distance event celebrating Waterford’s 62nd year of operation featured eight caution periods and was paced by three different race leaders.

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Any track that plays Blink-182 ranks high on our scale.

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Drivers participating in today’s Budweiser Blastoff 100 had differing opinions in strategy. Defending series champion Chris Pasteryak, who starts fifth, stated if his car isn’t good, he will pit for adjustments to make his car better. However, 13th place starter Timmy Jordan stated he believes track position will be key and he must go hard from the start. Jordan felt that track position will be important, and that gaining it early will help.

Les Hinckley was able to get his car repaired after experiencing power steering issues yesterday and will start in the 25th position.

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Make sure you follow us on twitter as the Budweiser Blastoff 100 is set to roll off at @VMMUpdates!