Luck helps Steve Graham wins NHRA Division 3 Race at Chicago JOLIET, Ill. (July 20, 2005) -- Steve Graham, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Autolite XP Xtreme Performance '67 SS/HA Chevy II, took home the top honor at the NHRA Chicagoland...
Luck helps Steve Graham wins NHRA Division 3 Race at Chicago
JOLIET, Ill. (July 20, 2005) -- Steve Graham, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Autolite XP Xtreme Performance '67 SS/HA Chevy II, took home the top honor at the NHRA Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Division 3 Race, winning the Super Stock class last weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., near Chicago.
After qualifying No. 20 with an elapsed time of 10.048, 0.852 under his 10.90 second index, Graham needed some racing luck to reach the final round against Ricky Decker.
Graham knew his luck might be going in the right direction even before the race began. "We didn't run into a headwind on our way to Joliet, so that save some valuable dollars on gas," said Graham. "Then when we got to Route 66 Raceway, we parked on the pavement. Everybody knows to us Lucas Oil sportsman guys, parking on the pavement is like finding gold. The closer you get to the starting line the better it is. So I knew things were going in the right direction before the race started."
In the race itself, after defeating Doc Neumeyer in the opening round on Saturday night and on Sunday Kevin Jackson in round two, Graham's racing luck kicked in. The Fulton, Ind., driver was matched against the Dakota truck of Donnie Fuller in round three.
During the pass, Graham had a tail housing on the transmission break (a part that bolts onto the back of the transmission and supports the drive shaft yoke) and oil got under the tires and he aborted the run pulling over to the side of the track never crossing the finish light. He came to find out that his day wasn't over though as Fuller had red-lighted, with the win going to Graham.
But more bad news faced Graham as he only had about 10 minutes between round to repair the problem and his crew chief, Brian Olson was at the NHRA national event in Denver attending to other racing duties there. A friend stepped in and assisted Graham and he made it back to the starting line and staged for round four.
But the transmission problem still wasn't fixed. But by the luck of the draw, Graham had a bye round and just staged, took the green and took his Autolite XP Chevy II back to the pit area to complete the repairs.
In round five he turned back Mark Nowicki and in round six Randall Klein red-lighted which moved Graham into the final round against Decker. In the finals, luck prevailed again as Decker red-lighted.
Graham had this to say about the three wins by red-lights and the overall win: "I've given away a lot of red-lights, so I was just getting back some of the red-lights I gave away. The red-light god was looking down on me this weekend. The win helped in the points and we moved up after a slow start in the division."
The win moved Graham up in the Division 3 Super Stock point standing and he now is No. 5 with 217 points. In the national point standing he is currently No. 37 in the Super Stock class with 317 points.
Running in Division 3, Graham finished third in the division in 2003. For 2004, he finished at the top, winning the Division 3 Super Stock Championship. Graham finished No. 7 nationally in 2003 and No. 10 in 2004
North Central Division 3 racers head to Edgewater Sports Park in Cleves, Ohio, next Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, August 5-7.