Derek Ramstrom Wins PASS Finale; Derek Griffith Scores National Title

(Press Release from Pro All Stars Series)

Derek Ramstrom celebrates victory at Hickory Speedway Saturday (Photo: Pro All Stars/lwpictures.com)

Derek Ramstrom took the lead for the final time with just over 30 laps to go and led the rest of the way to claim his first career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win Saturday afternoon at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 200.

While Ramstrom took the win, Derek Griffith finished second to capture the PASS National Championship Super Late Model title and third place finisher Matt Craig took his third straight PASS South championship.

“This is just awesome for us, we’ve been coming down here ever since 2006 and we’ve finally gotten us a win down south,” said Ramstrom. “Hickory is a great place to come to and reminds us of a lot of the tracks back home in New England. We came with a totally different package this time and I just can’t say enough for all the guys and the work they put in to give us such a great car.”

In qualifying, Kodie Conner claimed his second straight MegaMeltdown pole by edging out Craig. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Jody Measamer drew the pole, while Conner pulled pill two to start alongside.

Conner quickly moved to the front and would lead the first 28 laps before Jake Crum moved by and assumed the lead. The first caution of the day did not wave until lap 33 when Lucas Jones spun in turn two following contact from Brandon Barker. On the restart, Ramstrom would get the advantage over Crum to take the lead for the first time of the day. While batting for sixth, former Hickory winners Brandon Setzer and Preston Peltier made contact on lap 60, ripping the left front fender from Peltier’s car and ending his day.

Ramstrom and Griffith would swap the lead a couple of times before the caution waved again on lap 96 when Gabe Brown spun in turn three while running eighth. Conner would reassume the top spot on the restart and led until the competition caution on lap 125.

Following the pit stops, Ramstrom powered his way back into the lead and would continue to lead through a couple of quick cautions due to incidents for Brandon Johnson and TJ Brackett. Conner would retake the lead from Ramstrom with 52 laps to go, but both Ramstrom and Setzer would move by to knock Conner back to third on lap 168.

Ramstrom and Setzer then separated themselves from the rest of the field as they attempted to settle the 200-lapper amongst one another.

Derek Griffith celebrates the 2018 PASS National Championship Saturday at Hickory Speedway (Photo: Pro All Stars Series/lwpictures.com)

But, with 10 laps to go, Setzer would make contact with Gracie Trotter while lapping her, sending her for a spin in turn one, which collected Conner in the process. Setzer was placed at the rear of the field by PASS officials for avoidable contact with Trotter. From there, Ramstrom would lead the rest of the way to take the win over Griffith, Craig, Cory Casagrande, and Measamer. Rounding out the top 10 were Austin Theriault, Crum, Tyler Church, Wyatt Alexander, and Brandon Lynn.

Griffith’s championship season culminated on a day that saw it nearly slip away in morning practice. He avoided the wall after breaking a trailing arm bracket, which allowed his team to make the necessary welding repairs at Setzer’s nearby shop prior to qualifying.

“This is just amazing, the guys did a great job to get the car repaired,” said Griffith. “I can’t thank Brandon and Dennis [Setzer] for letting us use their shop. Ray Christian, my nearest competitor for the championship, he offered to let me use their backup car. I mean, what can you say about that? This has just been a great year and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

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Comments

  1. Fast Eddie says:

    Great job by the yankees showing the south how it’s done! Contrats to the Griffith and Ramstrom teams!

  2. Great win! I have said it before and will say it again, Derek would be the perfect replacement driver for the 31 SK at Thompson.

  3. One last thing on Ramstrom: I believe he finished in the top 10 at Canadian Nationals at Jukasa, not a bad past few months. And to think we have Chaz Grala running in Xfinity series and he is not even a top 3 driver in his own state!

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