@LOSC_Series • @saublespeedway • Orono, ON- It was an event that was delayed twice by weather and even had its location changed, but the smile on his face will remain there for a long time. Orono, Ontario’s Brandt Graham scored an impressive sixth place finish in his long awaited Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series debut – Saturday, June 6 – at Sauble Speedway.
With previous experience in karting and the Mini Stock ranks at Kawartha and Peterborough Speedways, the teenager – who attends Clarke High School – was looking forward to his first start in the new division even though he knew it might take a bit of time to get used to a bigger, heavier and faster racing machine.
“My family and friends have always been very supportive of my racing efforts,” said the young driver. “I’d never raced at Sauble before, so that added another unknown factor to the mix. As a team, we tried to go into the day without any expectations. I just wanted to have the best show possible and hopefully roll the car into the trailer in one piece at the end of the event. Anything else we’d be able to accomplish would be a bonus.”
Brandt Graham was quick to praise the off-season efforts of his crew after he ran some strong pre-race practice laps on the unfamiliar speed plant. He said the car felt great and while working through the session with some of the more experienced drivers, he was able to find a racing line where the car felt comfortable. He hoped he would be able to use that groove in the time trial laps and later, the 100 lap main event.
When it came time to put the #14 Dodge through its paces against the clock, the Rookie of the Year hopeful logged some impressive laps and finished with a ninth place qualifying spot for the main event. While reviewing the run with his father and grandfather, he confessed to being proud of his effort but a bit nervous of what was still to come.
“It was good to make the show, but there was still a lot of work left to do,” admitted the 16 year-old upstart. “Over the years, I’ve learned that you can never win any race on the first lap, so as a team we decided to run a pace that let me get a feel for the track and how the car would run through some different conditions.”
Brandt Graham’s strategy worked to perfection. Being used to shorter distance events paid-off when the opening green flag stanza lasted about 25 laps. From there, the plan to run his own race and take what the track would give him was also successful, resulting in a strong sixth place finish at the end of the day.
“I really liked how things worked out,” said the happy youngster. “The car was quick right off the trailer at the start of the day and gave us a solid foundation and some good notes to build on for the rest of the series.”
Graham Racing is sponsored by Arcade Pools, Full Circle Automation Inc., J&M Restoration and Collision, Autocare, Hot Rod Swag and Squirrel Head Music. Paint scheme and design work for the team’s 2015 efforts are by Mayhew Graphics, with team media and public relations by Clarke Motorsports Communications.
Fans can follow the team on the track and behind the scenes throughout the season by liking the ‘Graham Racing’ page at www.facebook.com.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media