One week ago, Derek Ramstrom was more than confident that if he kept his No. 35 Pro Stock clean at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT), he could win the 60-lap Granite State Pro Stock Series race to kick off the 55th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. Turns out, he was right to be confident, as Ramstrom was able to maneuver through the field to take the victory Friday night.
After starting eighth after an inversion of cars, Ramstrom carefully picked his way forward over the first 20 laps, avoiding some chaos along the way and ran down polesitter Eddie MacDonald and Derek Griffith who were slugging it out for the lead. Within five laps, Ramstrom made it a three-car battle, eventually following Griffith past MacDonald.
On a lap 31 restart, after Griffith chose the outside lane, Ramstrom handled the inside masterfully, clearing Griffith for the lead next time by and pulling away for the win.
“It was extremely close there in the beginning. I was just trying to be patient. Sixty laps here is kind of long,” Ramstrom said after the race. “I maintained a steady pace and at the right time I closed the door and never looked back.”
His win Friday night was the second Granite State Pro Stock Series victory of his career at the “Big T.” Winning at Thompson will always have extra meaning for Ramstrom as he grew up just a few minutes north from the track and began his career there before eventually competing in the old Pro Stock division where he collected multiple wins and championships.
“I started at the Little T Speedway over here, been watching people race here my whole life. I love this place,” Ramstrom stated. “I would not race anywhere else but here. I wish PASS, Granite State, or someone would put together a big race here comparable to the Snowball or something. I know it’s probably not going to happen but that would be a dream.”
Ramstrom is not finished this season, as he will go for the Connecticut sweep next week at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, before really mixing it up for the remainder of the season.
“We’re going to run Granite State at Waterford next week, then we’re going to run the Modified race at Seekonk. We haven’t run the Modified all year so that should be interesting, hopefully get a decent finish and keep it clean. At the end of the year we’re going to run the PASS race at Hickory down South. We’re going to do a bunch of work to the car, put a ‘built’ motor in it and get ready.”
After leading a handful of laps, Griffith held on to finish second Friday night. Tommy O’Sullivan, Brad Babb and Mike Scorzelli completed the top five.
Full on-demand coverage of the race can be seen by visiting Speed51.com’s Speed Central.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com