@LOSC_Series • Orono, ON- (September 18, 2015)- Making the transition from weekly racing to a travelling series can be a daunting task for any driver. First is the need to adjust to different tracks, after seeing the same speedway every weekend. Then, there is likely a switch to a new car; usually one with a strip of yellow tape – letting everyone else in the field know that you’re a rookie – across the back bumper.
At the end of the 2014 season, Brandt Graham and the Graham Racing team announced that they would leave the Mini Stock program they had run at Kawartha and Peterborough Speedways to contend for Rookie of the Year honours on the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series. Heading into the season with a goal of learning about a new car, division and seeing a number of new tracks for the first time, the 17 year old from Orono, Ontario scored an impressive sixth place finish at Sauble Speedway in his first start of the year.
“The car felt great during that first race and we were able to build a solid set of notes to use through the rest of the season,” said the young racer. “I had to get used to running time trials as opposed to heat races and a 100 lap main event, but with the help of some very supportive family, friends and crew members, I was able to get comfortable quite quickly.”
Brandt Graham’s comfort level came into the spotlight with a patient and inspiring second place performance – Saturday, August 8 – at Peterborough Speedway. Being familiar with the track may have helped, but that showing was just a sign of what was yet to come.
The 2015 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series schedule wrapped-up Saturday, September 12 at Full Throttle Motor Speedway. On a night where many of the tracks in the province had their shows cancelled by rain, it was one of the few venues to see action. Brandt Graham time-trialed his #14 machine sixth and once the green flag waved, he dropped back into eighth spot in the running order.
As had been his trademark throughout the year, the Clarke Secondary School student ran some consistent laps and advanced through the field. After trying to take the top spot a couple of times, he took a lead he’d never surrender with 95 circuits showing on the scoreboard. The young lion says the last laps of the race were some of the most nerve-wracking of his career.
“All the stories people tell about winning their first big race are true,” confessed Graham. “I was wondering if the car had enough fuel, if something might break or if maybe I’d have a flat tire. Luckily, I had the calm, confident voice of my father on the radio to guide me to the checkered flag. I can’t thank my family enough for what they’ve done. None of this would be possible without their love and support.”
The victory was the first of Brandt Graham’s career and clinched 4th place in the final 2015 standings and Rookie of the Year honours for the second generation racer. At 17, Graham is also the youngest main event winner in Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series history.
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