BY KYLE SOUZA, FOR THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK
THOMPSON, Conn. – With just one race remaining in the 2018 Sunoco Modified championship chase, Keith Rocco has a 48-point lead and will likely seal the championship by starting the season finale at the 56thannual Sunoco World Series.
But right behind Rocco, Troy Talman has put together a consistent season filled with top five finishes. Talman, a native of Oxford, Massachusetts, has finished inside the top five in all but one race this season with a best finish of third as part of Icebreaker weekend.
“We’ve been really consistent, we could do a little bit better, we haven’t found Victory Lane quiet yet, but I’m happy,” Talman said. “With the races spread out, it takes a little bit to dial the car in. We won a race last year but this year we haven’t quite been up to snuff to contend for a win.”
But, the last time on the track as part of For The Fans Night on Sunday September 10, Talman found speed under the hood of his No. 3, something he hopes he can keep with him going to the finale.
“Last race, we went with the package we raced last year, and we had good speed. The race was a little bit spread out because there were not many cautions. I’m pretty happy with the way we have been running. Ending up second in points right now is definitely pretty good. Racing against the top guys in the Sunoco Modifieds is a challenge.”
He’s been working inside the Keith Rocco Racing stable, and has used Keith’s assistance to his advantage for various aspects of racing, including the setup with the car.
“It’s helped a lot, there isn’t anyone better to partner with in the Sunoco Modifieds in the last decade, Keith has all of his stuff together,” Talman said. “He offers good advice and I’m not afraid to ask him anything. It’s really good for me to be able to jump into a car that is top notch. It’s been a good experience.”
Over the years, Talman watched his uncle compete on the Thompson high-banks, and now has the opportunity to take his own talents to the 0.625-mile oval.
“It’s always been a personal favorite track of mine growing up, I watched a ton of races there as a fan, and I’ve watched plenty of in-car cameras. It has really exciting racing and you really have to be aggressive to pass there which is something I enjoy. The speed, the banking, it’s just different.”
With just one race left on the schedule, Talman is definitely excited to head back to Thompson for the 56thannual Sunoco World Series. The Sunoco Modifieds will practice on Friday, qualify on Saturday and run their 30-lap feature right at the start of the day on championship Sunday.
“It’s a weekend I mark on the calendar and look forward to every year, it’s always jammed packed and full of events,” Talman said. “It’s always nice to race in front of a packed crowd at Thompson and it really gets you going. It’s a neat experience to cap the year off.”
“I’d love to finish the year in Victory Lane. I think it’s looking up for us because we definitely found something the last time out. I think we will have a good handling car and we will have to make the right adjustments for Sunday.”
The 56thannual Sunoco World Series will take place from Friday October 12 through Sunday October 14. Over the course of the weekend, 17 different divisions will compete in feature racing, spread out across the three days.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will conclude their 2018 campaign with the fourth appearance on the high-banks this season, wrapping the weekend on Sunday.
As always, both the breakfast buffet ($11.95 plus tax) and the prime rib dinner buffet ($22.50 plus tax) will be available for fans in the clubhouse.
A paddock pass for the weekend is $75, and is good for all three days. Fans can enter the grandstands with a general admission ticket for the entire weekend at $55, while seniors (65+), veterans and active duty military members can enter at $50. Kids 12 years of age and under are free.
Fans can visit www.thompsonspeedway.comfor the full event schedule, parking map and camping options for the weekend. As always, follow the track on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.