Actually, Derek Ramstrom proably looks at racing more like summer school.
Derek Ramstrom is a sophomore at St_Peter_Marian Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School in Worcester, Mass. Like a typical boy his age, he goes to school, likes to hang out with his friends, plays paintball, goes snowboarding, and loves riding his dirt bike. And like most of his friends he doesn't have his driver's license quite yet.
But that doesn't stop him from driving almost every weekend from March through November.
Derek Ramstrom has been driving race cars since he was six years old. He started
racing quarter midgets in 1997 at the "Little T" at Thompson Speedway, the track that has produced racers who have gone on to success in NASCAR's Camping World East Series and Whelen Modified Series, plus NEMA Midgets, ISMA Supermodifieds and weekly racers across the region.
Always a quick learner, Ramstrom won three different championships in 1998; the Thompson Speedway Quarter Midgets Series, the Quarter Midgets Northeast Regional Series, and the Silver City Championship. He competed and remained champion of all three divisions until 2003 when he became the Quarter Midget National Series Champion. In 2004, Ramstrom won his second-straight Quarter Midgets National Series championship before graduating to the Allison Legacy Series.
After a solid 2005 in the Allison cars, Derek stepped up to the Pro All-Stars Series Outlaw Late Model Division for the 2006 season. He competed in both the Central (New Hampshire) and North Divisions (Maine), and won the first Central Division race at Canaan Fair Speedway in July. He went on to compete in all the races in both divisions with the objective of
getting as much seat time as he could. It paid off as Ramstrom became the first PASS Outlaw Combo Series Champion at the age of 14.
As the 2007 race season approached Derek and his dad, Rick, decided to move up to PASS Super Late Model Series. At age 16 Derek became the youngest driver ever to compete in the division.
"Being the youngest driver in PASS is very challenging," admits Ramstrom, "because I have to show everybody that is associated with PASS that I am able to compete at their level and to earn their respect.
In the biggest race of the PASS Season, "The PASS 400 Weekend," at Beech
Ridge Motor Speedway, Ramstrom took giant steps in that direction. After losing a lap with a tire-problem on lap two, Ramstrom came back strongly to finish third.
A solid rookie season ended with a seventh in series points, six top tens, and the Most Improved Driver Award at the annual Banquet. In three trips to the PASS South Super
Late Model Series, Derek had two top tens, including a third at Greenville_Pickens, SC.
"Our plans for 2008 are to run the full PASS North Super Late Model schedule," Ramstrom declares, "as many PASS South Series as the budget allows, and we are going
to run all the Thompson weekly Thursday night shows and try to claim the championship, which is very exciting since it's my local home track and I love the big fast five-eighths mile."
http://www.shorttrackonline.net/ – May/June 2008