6/9: Derek finishes 10th in the rain delayed race
as Corey Williams takes the win.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
(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
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.
4/6 & 7 - SPEED51 PASS
SOUTH "TRACKSIDE NOW" REPORTS FROM HICKORY
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.
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
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.
Fridays 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 cars 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. Dereks 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
It took Derek a while to pick out the rather funky groove
around the tracks seasoned pavement. The search was
complicated by this race being Dereks first with a 500-plus
horsepower dry sump motor. Matting the throttle, which works
fine in the Ramstrom Racing crate motor car, wont 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 Speedways 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
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 Ridges
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 Ramstroms 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.
Racing is looking forward to building on the success of 2006 in the
2007 race season with Derek Ramstrom at the wheel of the teams 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 teams 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 Ramstroms 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 Dereks wrist is long gone. Its 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.