Getting Up To Speed With…Pamela Graham
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Ken O'Neil)
Last year Pamela Graham ran quite well with the Northwest Extreme Modified class in the division’s inaugural season at Sunset Speedway Park. At the end of the campaign she would end up sixth in the final point standings and posted one trophy dash win and four top five finishes in five main event starts. Of those four top five finishes three of them she finished in second place.
Originally from Portland, but now residing across the Columbia River in the city of Vancouver, Washington, Graham plans on running a limited schedule in 2014. Instead of racing full time she will be helping her husband, Mike, as he makes his return to the Late Model scene. Also the both of them are planning on getting the next generation of the Graham family started as their son Loren will make his Kage Kart debut this summer.
In addition to driving cars Pamela is the crew chief in the Team Perfection stable. In fact, five of the last six Modified champions at Sunset Speedway Park have come out of the Team Perfection shop. She also put the setup on the car when Chris Quinn broke the track record. Never one to run for points herself, she feels point racing takes the fun out of racing. We got an opportunity to talk with Pamela and discussed her racing plans in 2014, how she got her start in racing, and why she races the #12X. Now let’s get up to speed with Pamela Graham.
Driver: Pamela Graham
Home Track: Sunset Speedway Park
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
Occupation: Insurance Claim Specialist
Years Racing: 10
Classification: Northwest Extreme Modified
Team: Perfection Automotive
Chassis: FR1 Chassis
Sponsors: Perfection Automotive, 21st Century Towing, Freeman Tile
BD: What are your plans for 2014?
PG: Well my husband (Mike Graham) is back to racing after a year sidelined from a heart attack in late 2012. He will be running a Late Model in Lebanon and our son Loren just turned ten and will be getting his start in the Kage Karts this summer. I plan on racing the B-Mod a few times this year.
BD: How did you get your start in racing?
PG: Well Mike raced, and like most girlfriends I got tired of him being gone all the time so he got me involved. He put me in a Womens race and even though I went pretty slow I had a lot of fun. Since then I’ve learned how to work on the cars and do the set up at the shop. And we’ve been having fun at it for over twenty years.
BD: Is there a reason you race the #12X?
PG: It’s not really anything super important to me. It was a number I used in baseball and I just got attached to it because it has brought me good luck in the past. I put the “X” next to it because a lot of tracks don’t like letters next to the numbers so it’s a little rebellious thing we do.
BD: How fun is the Northwest Extreme Modified class?
PG: It’s pretty fun. I think it’s a really great idea and we ran with them last year to see it get off the ground and grow. It’s a really good way to start in a Modified racing especially moneywise. I think the Modifieds are really a driver’s class and can be really challenging and that’s what makes it fun than the other divisions in my opinion.
BD: What are some of you future plans or goals for racing?
PG: I think once we get my son going we’re going to focus on Loren's racing career. We want to make sure it remains a family sport and keep it fun.
Sunset Speedway Park enters the 2014 season with an action packed schedule that you do not want to miss out on. The first event of the season is a test and tune play day scheduled to take place on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year will be held on the 19th. To get the latest information and read the most recent stories regarding SSP log on to www.sunsetspeedwaypark.com.