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Ramstrom Gets Gift in GSPSS Season Finale at Thompson

Posted By Tj Ingerson On October 20, 2014

Categories: Granite State Pro Stock

Racing coverage on Vermont Motorsports Magazine provided by RPM Racing Engines in Georgia, Vermont.Derek Ramstrom celebrates his Granite State Pro Stock Series win on Sunday afternoon at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. (Michael Stridsberg/VMM photo)PHOTO: Derek Ramstrom celebrates his Granite State Pro Stock Series win on Sunday afternoon at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. (Michael Stridsberg/VMM photo)

Moltz takes championship in first year with series

--by Michael Stridsberg
VMM Correspondent

THOMPSON, Conn. --
Halloween may be the next holiday on the calendar, but for Derek Ramstrom, Sunday was an early Christmas.

Ramstrom took advantage of then-leader Wayne Helliwell Jr.’s misfortune with five laps remaining to win the Granite State Pro Stocks Sunoco World Series 50 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The win came in the first series appearance of the season for the recent PASS 300 winner.

The West Boylston, Mass. driver started fourth in the 50-lap race and spent most of the event in second to polesitter Helliwell. After two cautions in the opening circuit, the remainder of the race was spent under green flag conditions, and without the benefit of another yellow, Ramstrom was unable to get closer than a few car lengths to the leader.

However, as the two headed for the backstretch after receiving the five-to-go signal, Helliwell suddenly slowed with a flat right-front tire. As the Dover, N.H. driver limped to the pits, Ramstrom inherited the lead and cruised to the win.

“I don’t think I had anything for (Wayne),” Ramstrom admitted in Victory Lane. “His car was phenomenal. We were way too loose in the center, so it’s really unfortunate for him. He probably would have won the race, and I don’t think I could have caught him. That’s racing. We kind of lucked out.”

While Ramstrom and Helliwell were distancing themselves from the field, the focus in the pack was on the championship battle between Dillon Moltz, Matt Frahm, and Larry Gelinas; Moltz came into the feature 18 points ahead of Frahm and 19 up on Gelinas. The Warterford, Conn. Driver Moltz led the first six laps from the outside pole before he surrendered the lead back to Helliwell, but began to fade in the second half of the race.

Meanwhile, Frahm and Gelinas followed each other up through the field and moved into second and third after Helliwell was sidelined. Moltz eventually finished sixth, but it was more than enough to secure the title in his first year competing with the series.

“I hadn’t looked at the points all year long,” Moltz said after the race. “We weren’t points racing at all this year. We just came into this last race and knew what we had to do, and just had to play it smart. We had a really good car; I just didn’t want to do anything stupid. I was really just riding out there. I knew where [Frahm and Gelinas] were, and I knew where I needed to be.”

Moltz endured a trying middle of the season, having to fight his way from the back in numerous events due to spins and other setbacks. The former Waterford Speedbowl Late Model champion said that working through the adversity meant even more with the title in hand.

“We worked our butts off,” he said. “I think we’re the most deserving team out there for everything we’ve had to endure. We’ve had more flat tires this year than I’ve ever had in my entire racing career, and to come back through and get solid finishes and make a solid rebound is what makes a champion.

“Sometimes to get thrown down and have to work your way back up and fight for what you believe in and fight for what you’re passionate about – every spot that I fought for this year after having to pit, or getting spun out, or whatever (reason), means the difference at the end. People say ‘let someone go’ or something like that – you get every position you’re capable of and do everything possible so at the end of the year it pays off.”

Brad Babb finished fourth in the event, while Jason Boyd overcame an opening-lap spin to take fifth. Following Moltz, positions seventh through tenth went Tommy O’Sullivan, Derek Griffith, Mike Parks, and George Bessette.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing 50
Granite State Pro Stock Series -- Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thomspon, Conn.
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown-Laps Completed

1. (4) Derek Ramstrom, West Boylston, Mass., 50
2. (8) Matt Frahm, Salem, N.H., 50
3. (7) Larry Gelinas, Buxton, Maine, 50
4. (11) Brad Babb, Windham, Maine, 50
5. (14) Jason Boyd, Edgewater, Fla., 50
6. (2) Dillon Moltz, Waterford, Conn., 50
7. (5) Tommy O’Sullivan, Wilbraham, Mass., 50
8. (22) Derek Griffith, Hudson, N.H., 50
9. (19) Mike Parks, Walpole, N.H., 50
10. (6) George Bessette, Danbury, Conn., 49
11. (21) Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, Mass., 49
12. (25) Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I., 49
13. (16) Billy Brady, Marston Mills, Mass., 49
14. (15) Ron Smith, Oakham, Mass., 49
15. (13) Adam Norton, Brookfield, Mass., 48
16. (19) Mike Brightman, Acushnet, Mass., 48
17. (18) Mike Mitchell, Cumberland, R.I., 48
18. (12) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., 48
19. (1) Wayne Helliwell Jr., Dover, N.H., 46
20. (9) Jake Vanada, Berkley, Mass., 37
21. (3) Reid Lanpher, Manchester, Maine, 28
22. (20) Chris Lescenski, Riverhead, N.Y., 18
23. (23) Greg Nanigian, Braintree, Mass., 15
24. (10) Jeff Connors, Rockville, Conn., 11
25. (24) Josh King, Vernon, Ct., 0