2007 Results & Photos - 1/1/07 to 6/17/07

Ed McHugh's
West Boylston
Auto Parts












6/17: Derek finishes 12th! Read it

6/9: Derek finishes 10th in the rain delayed race as Corey Williams takes the win.  Story HERE

(Rougemont, NC – June 9, 2007) Late Saturday night at the Orange County Speedway Derek drove the #35 to a 10th place finish in the 125 lap PASS Super Late Model Feature.

The weather was a hot both Friday and Saturday. Fortunately, the team had planned for the North Carolina heat. Throughout Friday’s practice sessions, working in the high temperatures, Crew Chief Jeff Ratoff made a lot of adjustments to the Ramstrom Racing #35, and fine tuned the car’s set-up to the track and conditions. The result was a fast car, which Derek time trialed at 13th out of thirty cars. With a 2nd place finish, Derek’s heat race went well, and thankfully, uneventful.

On Saturday night after an extended rain delay, during which the SLM’s were called on for track drying duties, Derek started in the middle of the field at 14th. Despite high hopes at the start, any chance for an up front finish was thwarted by two flat tires. However, Derek overcame these setbacks and doggedly moved up in track position. At the checkered he was on the lead lap and in 10th place. The car came home showing only a couple of new tire doughnuts.


13th at White Mountain on 5/26

May 19th race at New Brunswick Int'l Speedway
cancelled due to the weather.

6th at Speedway 95 on 5/6 - Derek's best finish in SLM.

20th at Beech Ridge on 5/5 - after no clutch, a crash in
the heat, a crash in the consi, and running in 4th
at the restarts! Tough day.

Standing 10th in the points with 392.
Facing 150-lap PASS Super Late Model features at two different tracks, the best to be hoped for was a hectic first weekend in May for the Ramstrom Racing team, but with three qualifying mishaps and a lodging crisis, hectic turned out be understatement. In the end all the team’s effort paid off. On Sunday afternoon at Speedway 95 Derek Ramstrom drove the #35 to a very respectable top-six finish.
(May 5, 2007 - Scarborough, ME) The long weekend started with Friday’s practice sessions at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Both cars – crate motor and big motor – were taken out for practice. While the exteriors of the two Ramstrom Racing cars are similar, they can be identified by their chassis color. The crate motor car, which was used throughout last year, has a red chassis, and the new high powered car has a yellow chassis. Practice feedback indicated last year’s crate motor ride to be the best choice for the track, and in the final session Derek showed lap times placing him in the middle on the field.

Qualifying for Saturday’s race proved to be troublesome. The 35’s participation in both the heat race and the consi was short lived. The heat race start for Derek was handicapped by a transmission shifting gremlin, and early in the race he got caught up in a turn four mix-up. A trip to the pits was needed to remove the front bumper and open up the radiator duct. After Derek got back out on the track, he radioed back that he could not continue the race with the banged up car. It was brought back to the pits, and the team rushed to get the car in shape in time for the consi’s start

With all hands scrambling, the car was pounded, drilled, pop riveted, and duct taped back into race form, sort of. However, it was all for naught, because at the beginning of the consi, a multi-car wreck in front of Derek forced him to lock up the 35’s tires, causing his car to tap the outside wall. The hit was hard enough to bend the right front suspension. Again the car was brought back to the pits, and again the team hurried to make repairs and improve on the earlier fixes.

Unexpectedly, the 150 lap feature race consisted of long green flag runs. The long stretches without a caution were a problem. From the start the Derek’s car had a push. Given a few cautions, suspension adjustments might have been made. But the first caution did not come until nearly 50 laps into the race, and it was a short one. The car was brought to pit road for a quick suspension change. Following the restart the push was still there. The next opportunity to work on the car came in the closing laps. By then retaining track position had become more important than any improvement that might come from pitting and restarting from the back of the field. At the race’s end, Derek held the 20th spot.

Saturday night the team packed up started north toward their next race. After midnight on Sunday they arrived in Bangor only to find out there was not a hotel room to be had anywhere. The Forest Products Expo was in town. Retracing back along the way they had just come, an available room was finally found.
(May 6, 2007 - Hermon, ME)   Despite the late night everyone was at Speedway 95 early Sunday morning. After two days of working in the dirt and dust at the Beech Ridge pits, the concrete slab found at the bottom of the Ramstrom Racing hauler's ramp was looked on as a gift from the race gods. The solid surface was immediately put to work. .The car arrived at the track with the Beech Ridge chassis set up, and before the car could join in the practice it had to have suspension parts swapped out. The lengthy changeover caused the first practice to be missed, but fine-tuning through the remaining practices produced lap times well within the fastest ten. Derek was all smiles looking forward to racing.

Unfortunately, there were more qualifying problems. During the heat race, as traffic backed up behind a mishap, Derek got hit from behind, pushing him into the car in front. Although it was a glancing hit, the left front lower control arm bent and the brake line snapped. The car was brought into the pits for the third rapid repair session of the weekend for Crew Chief Jeff Ratoff and Crew Member Chris Halback.

Derek started the 150-lap feature from near the tail of the field, thereby allowing ample opportunity for him to pass other race cars. Using patience, and caution flags to his advantage, the car was methodically moved through the field up into 6th place at the checkered.

A noteworthy situation occurred following a caution with ten laps to go. While the #35 was a lap car – in fact, nearly the whole field had been lapped – Derek would be restarting from outside pole. (Photographer's Note: to explain why all the cars seem out of order in the pix. With Cassius in the #8 lead car lapping all but the second place car of Johnny Clark #54, when a series of spins and tangles took place in the last 20 laps of the race, becoming the Lucky Dog - first car one lap down - and getting a lap back - moved five cars out of their positions and let them go around to the back of the field. Derek was a car which did not get a Lucky Dog lap back and so wound up on the front row of the restart with cars ahead of him actually behind him - and no chance to race them for position.)

As if this wasn’t enough pressure, veteran driver Cassius Clark was on the pole. Moreover, the outside groove is the preferred position on the start. (In Speedway 95’s weekly shows, the leader has the option of taking either front row spot.) With Clark's #8 to his left, Derek took the green flag and he drove a smart final ten laps. The car was placed in the hauler for the long ride home with little wear to show for 150 laps of hard racing.


Nice run for Derek to an 11th place finish.
A hard race with a spin and a lot of contact on a
very cold night.

April 9, 2007 - Hickory, NC) The first PASS South event this past weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway paid off with an 11th place finish for Derek Ramstrom and the Ramstrom Racing team.

The team left on Thursday, with Rick Ramstrom driving the hauler and Ed McHugh piloting his motorhome. They arrived in time to join the long line of race teams waiting for the pit gates to open.

Friday’s three rounds of practice were used up trying to get the car to handle well on the old and rough track surface that has seen a lot of racing history. Derek and Crew Chief Jeff Ratoff worked the chassis setup making adjustments until they were satisfied with the car’s handling.

Qualifying was through time trials. Derek had qualified this way only once before, so he sought out veteran drive Ben Rowe for some insight on time trial technique. Derek’s lap times placed the car in the middle of the field. While hanging on the bumper of Dale Shaw, Derek placed fifth in the second heat race. He was placed in the 18th spot on the starting grid for the 150-lap feature..

Early in the race Derek earned the dubious honor of bringing out the first caution. His long slide and spin was sort of a welcome to Hickory Speedway. As a newcomer to the speedway Derek got caught underneath another car by an apparently well known pinch down maneuver. Fool me once? Later in the lap count an accident just in front of Derek left him with only the pit road as a means of escape. The ride past the pits gained several positions for the #35.

Unfortunately, Derek lost a lap as a victim of a mishap that occurred out in front of him. He stomped hard on the brakes to avoid the stopped cars, the #35 got turned around, and before he could get going again the leaders went by. Derek held the lucky dog spot for many laps, but the mishap that put him a lap down was followed by a long green flag stretch.

It took Derek a while to pick out the rather funky groove around the track’s seasoned pavement. The search was complicated by this race being Derek‘s first with a 500-plus horsepower dry sump motor. Matting the throttle, which works fine in the Ramstrom Racing crate motor car, won‘t work with all that power. Smooth acceleration out of the corners putting as much power as possible to the rear wheels without breaking them loose takes talent and practice. During the 150 laps Derek learned a lot about both the track and his new ride, placing a respectable 11th in the finishing order. Moreover, the car did not have a scratch on it.

The team members making the trip south included Rick, Derek, Ed, Erin, Jeff, Greg, Chris, and Bill, and a good time was had by all. This weekend many of the Ramstrom Racing crew will be taking the weekend off from racing, sort of. They will be in the stands Thompson Speedway’s Icebreaker.

While the next race is two weeks away at Beech Ridge, the Ramstrom Racing #35 will be on display on
April 14 and 15 at the Mass Tattoo and Arts Festival and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Worcester. The car will be there representing Ramstrom Racing sponsor Zaza Ink.


The Ramstrom Racing team has been working long hours in preparation for their first Pro All Stars Series event of the 2007 racing season. On Saturday April 7, the Ramstrom Racing #35 with Derek Ramstrom at the wheel will open the season at Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina in the PASS Super Late Model South show.

The first race on the PASS SLM North schedule is set for Saturday, April 21 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. On Friday April 20 the team will be practicing on Beech Ridge’s 1/3-mile oval track. The Beech Ridge track is located in the area of Old Orchard Beach, which is an easy day trip from Central Massachusetts, and Derek along with the rest of the team look forward to a good turnout of supporters.

While the motor for the #35 has been out for a freshening and dyno session, the team is confident all the vital off season work on the car will be done by the beginning of April, and all the parts will be in their proper places before the car is winched into the hauler.

During the weekend of March 2-4, the Ramstrom Racing #35 was displayed at Speedway Expo at the Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Formerly known as Race-a-Rama, this annual event is well attended by persons from all levels of racing. The Ramstom car was featured in the PASS display in recognition of Derek Ramstrom’s Combined Points Championship.

The Ramstrom Racing website has a new look. Jimmy Deignan is working with current webmaster Norm Marx in getting the updated site online.

The #35 in the PASS Booth at

At the Big E in Springfield, Mass.



Ramstrom Racing is looking forward to building on the success of 2006 in the 2007 race season with Derek Ramstrom at the wheel of the team’s two cars. The car that was obtained late last year will compete in the PASS North Super Late Model Series and will also be seen at select PASS South events. Additionally, the car Derek Ramstrom drove to the PASS Outlaw Late Model Combined Points Championship will be racing at Thompson Speedway and All-Star Speedway.

As anyone who has contributed to a race team can attest, there is as much work to be done in the off-season as during the race season. However, some work is better than the other, and under the heading of good work, several team members went to Orlando, Florida for the Performance Racing Industries Trade Show. The trip was made by Team Owner Rick Ramstrom, Crew Chief Jeff Ratoff, and Marketing Coordinator Cherie Dugan. This well respected trade show provides the best opportunity for racers to gather information from vendors, learn from seminars, and network.

While the team’s cars completed the 2006 season in decent condition, new bodies and the replacement of some tweaked suspension parts are planned during the winter disassembly, inspection, and reassembly process. Unfortunately, one big-ticket item is still missing from the floor of Rick Ramstrom’s race shop in West Boylston, Massachusetts. The selection of a motor for the Super Late Model has not been completed, but it should be finalized soon.

The cast on Derek’s wrist is long gone. It’s probably no surprise that he removed the cast himself using tin snips. Despite the general lack of snowfall, following school and homework Derek has been snow boarding at nearby Wachusett Mountain.