–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
THOMPSON, Conn. — Derek Ramstrom loves Thompson Speedway and he showed it on Friday night.
The Worcester, Mass. driver drove to the lead from an eighth place starting spot and dominated the second half of the Granite State Pro Stock Series 60-lap event during Sunoco World Series weekend to claim the win.
The win for Ramstrom was his second Granite State Pro Stock win at Thompson during the World Series.
“It’s incredible. I love this place,” Ramstrom, a multi-time Thompson Pro Stock champion, said. “I miss racing here weekly. Every time we come here we’re a top-three car.
“I absolutely love this place.”
Ramstrom picked his way through the field from eighth during the first 30 laps of the event and had moved into fourth by lap 15. From there, Ramstrom jumped to third and began a battle for the lead with race leader Eddie MacDonald and second place Derek Griffith.
Ramstrom moved into second as he followed Griffith past MacDonald just before the midway point of the event. A lap 31 restart saw Ramstrom move past Griffith to take the lead for keeps and zoom away.
“It was extremely close in the beginning,” Ramstrom said. “I was just trying to be patience. Sixty laps doesn’t sound long, but it is here. I just maintained a steady pace and at the right time I just closed the door and never looked back.
“Derek Griffith is no slouch. He’s a fierce competitor. I had to save my stuff the best I could. After halfway, I let it rip and I didn’t look back.”
Griffith, of Hudson, N.H., took the lead early from MacDonald but settle in to second when MacDonald reclaimed the lead following a restart. He led for three laps after he took the lead from MacDonald on lap 29 until he surrendered it to Ramstrom.
Tommy O’Sullivan held off Brad Babb to finish third while Babb settled for fourth. Capital district New York racer Mike Scorzelli completed the top-five finishers.
Woody Pitkat ran back from multiple pit stops to finish sixth while Jake Vanada finished seventh. Championship contender Scott MacMichael battled back from a flat tire and an incident on a lap 18 restart to finish eighth to close the championship gap. Kyle Casagrande and Long Island racer Kyle Soper completed the top-ten finishers.
MacDonald suffered a flat right-rear tire after he surrendered the lead and was forced to pit under the green flag. He finished 11th.
Championship point leader Mike O’Sullivan was also involved in the lap 18 restart. He finished 13th and saw his championship lead to MacMichael shrink with just one race remaining.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series will conclude their season on Saturday, October 21 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway soon.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Sunoco World Series 60
Granite State Pro Stock Series
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Conn.
Friday, October 13, 2017
1. (8) Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, Mass.
2. (3) Derek Griffith, Hudson, N.H.
3. (9) Tommy O’Sullivan, Wilbraham, Mass.
4. (10) Brad Babb, Windham, Maine
5. (11) Mike Scorzelli, Feura Bush, N.Y.
6. (6) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn.
7. (12) Jake Vanada, Somerset, Mass.
8. (4) Scott MacMichael, Newbury, N.H.
9. (20) Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs, Conn.
10. (2) Kyle Soper, Calverton, N.Y.
11. (1) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
12. (14) Josh King, Vernon, Vt.
13. (5) Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, Mass.
14. (16) Devin O’Connell, Madison, Conn.
15. (13) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs, Conn.
16. (7) Nick Lascuola, Abington, Mass.
17. (18) Todd Owen, Somers, Conn.
18. (15) Barry Gray, Belchertown, Mass.
19. (17) Mike Mitchell, Cumberland, R.I.
20. (19) Greg Nanigian, Braintree, Mass.
PHOTO: Derek Ramstrom stands in victory lane following his Granite State Pro Stock Series win on Friday night at Thompson Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)