Dereck Ramirez watched the monkey on his back grow old, but the 32-year-old from Woodward, Okla., finally laid it to rest Thursday on opening night of the 21st Annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree.
Ramirez started on the outside of the front row and followed polesitter Joel Alberts for the first six laps of Thursday’s main event before powering to the front.
Besides Alberts, Ramirez was also challenged by Adam Hensel, Zack VanderBeek and Rodney Sanders during the first half of the 40-lapper but eventually he checked out with Sanders to settle it among themselves.
It seemed fitting since the pair are ranked first and second in both the Casey’s General Stores USMTS National Championship points battle and USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup powered by Summit which wraps up with the conclusion of Saturday’s race.
Lapped traffic came into play during the final dozen laps, but despite his best efforts Sanders had to settle for the runner-up paycheck while Ramirez broke through for his third win of the season and eighth of his USMTS career.