2008 Results & Photos - 3/22/08 to 7/5/08


(508) 347-2700





Ed McHugh'ss
West Boylston
Auto Parts

(508) 835-8865 




133 W. Boylston St.
Worcester, MA
(508) 853-6606



Derek Battles for the Lead before a
Driveline Failure Drops the #35 to 20th

Speed51 race report by Mike Twist-

Photos by Chris Roy

Derek Keeps Up The Domination
In Thompson Pro Stocks
3rd Win in a Row!

Story at the Shawn Courchesne Courant.com Racing Blog

Sunday, June 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.

Thursday, June 19th


"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 Worcester, MA, 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 "Racin Paper" 
Derek and Rick are in a nice front page feature article of the local West Boylston Paper "The Banner"  HERE

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 International Speedway."

"Ranstrom started on the pole and led every lap, easily driving away at the end to notch his first win at Thompson."

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 the #35!

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.   

Next 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 again.

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 (1-508-853-6606) or email Ramstromracing@yahoo.com

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.
150 Laps at White Mntn. - 7th Place

The Ramstrom Racing Team headed north again on May 24th for a PASS North race at White Mountain Motorsports Park.  The team had worked really hard during the week to put the car back together after a tough race at Wiscassett the week before.

Derek finally 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. 

The #35 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 going backward.  He held on very well and fought off a lot of hard charging racers to finish in the 7th position.  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 impressive.

Photos by Chris Roy
125 Laps 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 to
record a 16th place finish and fall to 12th in the points standings.
Photos by Chris Roy,
Jamie WIliams,
and Norm Marx


How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Actually, Derek Ramstrom probably looks at racing more like summer school.

By Chris Roy - May/June 2008 Issue of ShortTrack Magazine

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 five-eighths mile."

Saturday, May 3rd - Speedway 95, Hermon, ME

51’s Short Track Draft -The Original -The Underclassmen
"Our Panel Of 30-Plus Picks The Top-51 Short Track Racing Prospects - Under 18 Years Of Age"

THE #6 PICK: Derek Ramstrom   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 abilities.
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.
Unfortunately, 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.
Season Opener - 9th Place
Photos by NormMarx.com

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 steady drive.

“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 

And the 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 the green.

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 rookie season.

NEXT EVENT: 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.

Derek and the #35 took a run down south for the first race of the PASS South series which is also part of the four-race PASS National Super Late Model Championship.

Derek put a 14.991 sec lap into the time trials record books for a 8th place starting spot for the 150 lap feature (and held on to it after a redraw for the top 10).

In the 150 lap feature, Derek had a tough night with a variety of incidents.
On lap 46 while running in the top ten, Derek was caught up in a four car pile up when a lapped car spun.

On lap 64, Derek had a front straight spin along with Travis Banjamin.

Missing a big one on lap 64 that resulted in a red flag, Derek was again caught up in another incident with lapped cars that changed the complexion of race with leaders Jeff Choquette and Ben Rowe damaged.

Derek kept going and posted a 16th place finish, one lap down.

Full Results at the PASS Site
Follow the race action at TRACKSIDE NOW at  

  by Mike Twist

Ramstrom Readies For a Busy Season
Derek Ramstrom’s #35 Super Late Model anchored the PASS booth at the Speedway Expo. The 16-year-old second year PASS North driver has a busy season of racing ahead of him in 2008.

Ramstrom will return to the PASS North wars, chasing points and running the full schedule of races. He’ll head to a select number of PASS South shows as well, starting with the March 22nd Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway. He also plans to compete weekly at Thompson International Speedway (CT) and go after the Pro Stock championship with a new car just finished by chassis builder Jeff Taylor.

“I’m going to try and get as much seat time as possible this year,” Ramstrom told Speed51.com

Even though Ramstrom lives just a short distance from Thompson, he has never raced there weekly in his career because the track requires that competitors be at least 16 years of age. Despite being a former PASS Outlaw champion and racing all over the map over the past few seasons, Ramstrom did not satisfy that requirement until this year.

With Christmas behind us and the New Year upon us it is time once again to strap into the car and gear up for the 2008 racing season. The 2007 racing season was tremendously successful for Derek and the entire Ramstrom Racing Team. Derek finished 7th in the PASS North Super Late Model Division, just a few points out of the top five. Derek was awarded Most Improved Driver at the PASS Banquet in November, an award the team is very proud of.

Looking forward to the new season there will be some exciting additions to the #35 Ramstrom Racing schedule. In addition to competing in the PASS North Super Late Model division, Derek will be piloting another #35 at Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT. The team will be running in the Pro Stock Division at Thompson, the fastest short track in New England. This 5/8 mile, high-banked speedway runs a weekly Thursday evening show and has a seating capacity of 13,000 people. Team management feel that running the PASS Series is an outstanding opportunity for Derek to run with the finest racers on the Eastern Seaboard and allows him to get seat time at many tracks. The team also believes that racing at Thompson will allow Derek’s many fans to watch him race on a weekly basis.

For information on the series Derek will be racing, please visit the PASS Website at www.proallstarseries.com and Thompson Speedway website at www.thompsonspeedway.com.

Previous Race Results, Stories & Photos HERE