The inaugural season for the Southeast Dirt Modified Series closed out this past Saturday night at Virginia Motor Speedway. At the front of the field, David Stremme went by Chris Arnold in the closing laps to snatch his second win of 2016. Behind them a fierce championship battle raged on between incoming points leader Derrick Ramey and Taylor Cook.
To win the championship Ramey would need to stay in close proximity to Cook on the race track, a task which was going well for Ramey early on, until he made one small error.
“I sailed off in the corner a little bit, got a little crossed up, not enough to hurt me. I was going to get off the corner fine. I got hit in the left rear and it caused me to spin. We were sitting fine, I was one spot behind (Cook) just being smart and riding then that happened,” Ramey told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Force to restart from the rear of the field, Ramey had lost the points lead to Cook. To get it back he would need to get up on the wheel, drive hard and make his way through traffic to the front of the field.
“Hard is an understatement, I was driving my butt off after that,” Ramey said. “I had some close calls a couple times.”
Ramey’s extra effort would pay off as he would fight back to finish seventh, which was more than enough to keep up with Cook’s fourth-place performance. In the end, Ramey held a 13-point advantage in the standings and clinched the 2016 championship.
While Ramey did not succeed in his pre-race goal of trying to stay out of trouble, the drive back through the field did add a little extra spice to the championship celebration.
“I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I was just trying to keep my nose clean and stay smart, trying to win the championship,” he admitted. “My hopes kind of got down, but I just got back on the wheel.
“It made it a little better, either way it was going to be nice to win but it was kind of better knowing that we had to work hard for it.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com