Derek Battles for the Lead
Driveline Failure Drops the #35 to 20th
Speed51 race report by Mike Twist-
Derek Keeps Up The Domination
In Thompson Pro Stocks
3rd Win in a Row!
Story at the Shawn Courchesne Courant.com Racing Blog
22nd, was a very short day for Ramstrom Racing. On lap four
of Derek's heat, the motor made a pop and the power went
away. Derek rolled around at the end of the pack for the
remainder of the heat. Pulling the valve covers revealed an
out of position push rod and a bent valve.
It looks like the Thompson car will have to be entered in
the All-Stars 200 on Saturday, June 28th so that the PASS
North points chase can continue.
CHARTER NIGHT AT THOMPSON
Thursday, June 19th
2 IN A ROW FOR DEREK!
"Derek Ramstrom has found
victory lane at Thompson International Speedway. And he
doesn't want to give it back.
For the second consecutive week the 16-year old high
school sophomore from Worcester, Mass. won the 30-lap Pro
Stock feature at Thompson Thursday."
Story at the Shawn Courchesne Courant.com Racing Blog
Thompson Race Report:
Crowd favorite Derek Ramstrom of
pulled his Charter Communications #35 into Pro Stock
victory lane for the second straight week. George
Bessette took the lead from polesitter Jim Banfield
on lap four. Jay Macedonio cleared Banfield while
last week’s winner Ramstrom joined the top three.
Norm Wrenn was reeling in
the trio as the race approached halfway.
Macedonio peeked inside of
Bessette exiting each corner. Ramstrom applied
similar pressure to Macedonio as the three cars
battled at the head of the field.
Ramstrom got a run on Macedonio on lap 17
but could not make the pass stick.
Lap after lap the top three
battled. Macedonio tried a move on leader Bessette
exiting turn two on lap 19. Macedonio bobbled;
slowing quickly. Contact with Ramstrom ended
Macedonio’s bid at the win.
On the restart, Ramstrom used the coveted
outside groove to take the top spot from Bessette on
lap 20. Fred Astle, Jr., who had been quiet to this
point in the race, moved by Wrenn and into third.
With five laps remaining,
Ramstrom had checked out on the field with Astle
making a bid on Bessette. Over the final laps,
Zuidema was getting racy for the fourth spot.
Derek & Don Hoenig, the owner of
Thompson Speedway, are front page news on the June
22 edition of the
Derek and Rick are
in a nice front page feature article of the local
West Boylston Paper
THE WIN FOR DEREK!
at the 6/12 Thursday Night Thunder
"It seems there's a new sheriff in
town when it comes to the Pro Stock division at Thompson
"Ranstrom started on the pole and led every lap, easily
driving away at the end to notch his first win at
Story at the Shawn Courchesne Courant.com Racing Blog
Ramstrom Racing Report:
Last night was a great night at
Thompson International Speedway in Thompson CT for
After winning his qualifying race earlier in the
evening, Derek sat on the pole (1st) to
start the feature race. Once the green flag dropped,
he never looked back becoming the youngest driver
(16) to win a feature race at Thompson International
Speedway. Much to the dismay of NASCAR , but to the
delight of the crowd, he was also the first driver
in the 77 year history of the track to do NASCAR
style victory burnouts on the track before he drove
to Victory Lane.
week it is Charter/Derek Ramstrom night at Thompson
so Derek will have two cars there, he will be
signing autographs for the fans and hopefully be
putting the #35 in back Victory Lane once
If you have never been to a race,
next week would be a great time to go!
In addition, anyone who has been
thinking that they would like a
sponsorship/advertising spot on the #35 and/or the
hauler, space has been filling up fast since this
win. To reserve a space for you and your company,
you can contact Rick Ramstrom via phone
THURSDAY NIGHT THUNDER
Thompson International Speedway began it’s
official TNT (Thursday Night Thunder) May 29th
following the rain out the week before.
Derek started third in the heat and moved
quickly to second, settling down and finishing
second. The #35 started in the third position in
the feature and Derek made some quick work of
moving to the point position. For the next 15
laps Derek was hooked up with such a commanding
lead he was a full straight away from the second
place car. Praying for the race to stay green
wasn’t enough as a car hit the wall and brought
out the yellow. The track crew cleaned up the
oil that the car had leaked and put down Speedy
Dry betweens turn 1 and 2.
Derek was starting 1st with the #48 car in
second. The green flew and Derek was battling to
keep the lead when he slid in the Speedy Dry and
spun out. Good news/bad news: He lost the lead
but keep the car from hitting anything. With
only a handful of laps left and the brakes going
away Derek didn’t have time to get to the front.
The Ramstrom Racing Team was thrilled with the
run that Derek had. His rookie season in a Pro
Stock at Thompson is looking promising.
at White Mntn. - 7th Place
The Ramstrom Racing
Team headed north again on May 24th for a
PASS North race at White Mountain
The team had worked
really hard during the week to put the car
back together after a tough race at
Wiscassett the week before.
caught some luck and got a good start in the
heat race and he finished second. Derek
liked the setup and handling of the car
during the heat race and only minor
adjustments were made.
Ramstrom Racing machine started the feature
race in the 5th
position and Derek did a great job keeping
it in the front for the first 125 laps.
Around lap 125 the
car was obviously wounded and Derek was
struggling badly trying to keep it from
He held on very well
and fought off a lot of hard charging racers
to finish in the 7th
Once the car was
brought home and torn down it was discovered
that the right front shock was completely
destroyed, making Derek’s run all the more
at Wiscasset - 16th Place
|May 18th at
Wiscasset was a rough day for Ramstrom Racing. A
draw for the last spot in the heat, a tangle
with another car and a last place finish in the
heat, and starting last for the feature were
just the beginning of the #35's troubles.
At the green Derek was on the move and after a
couple of laps was by 6 or 7 of the 24 starters.
By midrace - and after a Lucky Dog to get back
onto the lead lap - Derek restarted after one of
the yellows in 9th.
Then two separate incidents damaged and
redamaged the nose requiring multiple pit stops
for repairs. Derek kept running but off the pace
record a 16th place finish and fall to 12th in
the points standings.
Photos by Chris Roy,
and Norm Marx
How I Spent My Summer
Actually, Derek Ramstrom probably
looks at racing more like summer school.
By Chris Roy - May/June 2008 Issue of ShortTrack
Derek Ramstrom is a sophomore at St. Peter-Marian
Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School in Worcester,
Mass. Like a typical boy his age, he goes to school,
likes to hang out with his friends, plays paintball,
goes snowboarding, and loves riding his dirt bike. And
like most of his friends he doesn't have his driver's
license quite yet.
But that doesn't stop him from driving almost every
weekend from March through November.
Derek Ramstrom has been driving race cars since he was
six years old. He started racing quarter midgets in 1997
at the "Little T" at Thompson Speedway, the track that
has produced racers who have gone on to success in
NASCAR's Camping World East Series and Whelen Modified
Series, plus NEMA Midgets, ISMA Supermodifieds and
weekly racers across the region.
Always a quick learner, Ramstrom won three different
championships in 1998; the Thompson Speedway Quarter
Midgets Series, the Quarter Midgets Northeast Regional
Series, and the Silver City Championship. He competed
and remained champion of all three divisions until 2003
when he became the Quarter Midget National Series
Champion. In 2004, Ramstrom won his second-straight
Quarter Midgets National Series championship before
graduating to the Allison Legacy Series.
After a solid 2005 in the Allison cars, Derek stepped up
to the Pro All-Stars Series Outlaw Late Model Division
for the 2006 season. He competed in both the Central
(New Hampshire) and North Divisions (Maine), and won the
first Central Division race at Canaan Fair Speedway in
July. He went on to compete in all the races in both
divisions with the objective of
getting as much seat time as he could. It paid off as
Ramstrom became the first PASS Outlaw Combo Series
Champion at the age of 14.
As the 2007 race season approached Derek and his dad,
Rick, decided to move up to PASS Super Late Model
Series. At age 16 Derek became the youngest driver ever
to compete in the division.
"Being the youngest driver in PASS is very challenging,"
admits Ramstrom, "because I have to show everybody that
is associated with PASS that I am able to compete at
their level and to earn their respect.
In the biggest race of the PASS Season, "The PASS 400
Weekend," at Beech
Ridge Motor Speedway, Ramstrom took giant steps in that
direction. After losing a lap with a tire-problem on lap
two, Ramstrom came back strongly to finish third.
A solid rookie season ended with a seventh in series
points, six top tens, and the Most Improved Driver Award
at the annual Banquet. In three trips to the PASS South
Super Late Model Series, Derek had two top tens,
including a third at Greenville Pickens, SC.
"Our plans for 2008 are to run the full PASS North Super
Late Model schedule," Ramstrom declares, "as many PASS
South Series as the budget allows, and we are going to
run all the Thompson weekly Thursday night shows and try
to claim the championship, which is very exciting since
it's my local home track and I love the big fast
Saturday, May 3rd - Speedway 95, Hermon, ME
51’s Short Track Draft -The Original -The
Of 30-Plus Picks The Top-51 Short Track Racing
Prospects - Under 18 Years Of Age"
THE #6 PICK: Derek
FULL STORY HERE
When you see
16-year-old Derek Ramstrom and his father at
the racetrack, you might think that they are
just local racers having fun. After all,
they enjoy themselves, are very laid back
and tow to the track with a simple pick-up
truck and enclosed trailer. But while one
of Ramstrom’s driving duties is to race
weekly in a Pro Stock (Super Late Model) at
Thompson International Speedway (CT), there
is nothing that is small about his racing
The Ramstroms, who
operate an auto repair shop in Massachusetts
during the week, have towed to tracks from
South Carolina to Canada while chasing
points in the tough PASS North Tour. He
also travels to compete in the big PASS
South events as well.
At age 15, he was
already a PASS Outlaw Late Model champion.
He has since stepped up to the big cars and
is a threat every week to win his first race
against the likes of Ben and Mike Rowe,
Cassius Clark, Johnny Clark and Richie
Dearborn. Whenever he’s entered a PASS
South race, he’s shown well too.
Ramstrom isn’t going to make the next step
in his racing career by buying a Camping
World East, ARCA or Pro Cup ride unless
someone in his family picks the right
numbers in a Powerball drawing. But the
talent, personality and potential are there
for any big-time team owner to “adopt” him
and make him a racing star.
- 9th Place
"THE CABIN FEVER 150"
Derek made progress towards the front as the race unfolded,
missing a variety of tangles that had the yellow out more
than a dozen times.
The 9th place finish was a the result of a cool head and a
“The Cabin Fever 150”, PASS North’s season opener had Mother
Nature on its side. The weather couldn’t have been better,
both Friday and Saturday.
The Ramstrom team headed north on Friday hoping to get a
little practice time in. They arrived at the track, took
some practice laps at which point Derek noticed that the car
wasn’t quite where he wanted it to be. It seemed to be a
little sluggish so a great deal of time was put into getting
horsepower into the motor. The team arrived on Saturday,
with some reinforcements and went to work trying to tweak
the carb and fuel pump situation.
Derek started last in the heat and spun the car on the first
lap, not drawing a caution but really losing a great deal of
distance from the lead cars. Rick decided to run the heat as
a practice and just worry about getting the car into the
consi. Once again Derek started last in the consi and had to
finish 7th or better to make the feature race. He did well
and made it into the feature with a 6th.
The #35 machine was starting 27th in the feature (out of 31)
and had a ton of work to do to get to the front. Derek
wasn’t too happy with the setup and the car began getting a
little hot so he pitted and the team took out a spring
rubber and took some tape off to try and cool it down. Back
on the track and at the rear of the field Derek began
inching his way to the front. He said on the radio that the
car was sputtering on and off and obviously that was a major
concern to the team.
At that point the team was just hoping to finish the race
but Derek had an outstanding run, avoided a ton of crashes,
had excellent restarts and ended up finishing 9th. A stellar
performance from Derek and the entire Ramstrom Team.
The next PASS North race is at Speedway 95 on Saturday, May
3rd. Derek begins his weekly run at Thompson Speedway on
Thursday, May 22nd.
APRIL 5-6, 2008
season finally begins at the Ice Breaker at Thompson
Speedway in Thompson, CT. Rick had a brand new car built
for Thompson but Derek ran a PASS South race down at
Hickory, NC and missed the two open practices, leaving
Derek to sit in the car for the first time during a
short practice on Saturday, just before the heat races.
The heat race wasn’t too good and Derek got caught up in
a wreck. The team arrived at the track Sunday morning
and worked feverishly to repair the damage, which
fortunately was minimal. The weather was lousy, cloudy
and very cold, showers looming. The Pro Stocks were to
race following the NEMA Midget race but tragedy struck
and on lap 3 of the Midget race Shane Hammond was
involved in a fatal crash. Hearts were broken and
spirits dampened as the division collectively decided to
cancel their race. The Pro Stocks were lined up ready to
race and with heavy hearts they did what they do best,
they hit the track, and after a few hot laps they took
Derek started in the 14th position and his car was a
rocket from the drop of the green flag. By lap 13 Derek
was up to the 5th position and on the move when another
car got a little wide coming out of turn 4 and spun the
35 machine. Derek did a complete 360 and kept going,
never stopping and never drawing the caution. He went to
the rear of the field and started picking them off
again, finishing in the 11th position. Mike O’Sullivan
in the 08 took the checkers for the season opener.
The entire team was extremely proud of themselves,
having a race car that could perform like that without
having any time on the track. The team was even more
excited with Derek’s performance, having raced a
traveling series for two years and running races that
require a lot of patience to racing at the fastest track
in the North East and having to get it done in only 30
laps. They are very excited to run Thompson on a weekly
basis and are confident that Derek will have a stellar
On Saturday, April 19th Ramstrom Racing will be at Beech
Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine for the
season opener of the PASS North Series.