Graham Aiming for Breakthrough Win in NOSA Sprints
The competition in the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car class at River Cities Speedway has been tough for many years, that’s something 18-year veteran Jordan Graham of Grand Forks has seen firsthand.
The 37-year-old Graham has won several heat races before but is still searching for his first career feature win in the class.
And it’s not that he hasn’t been close to a win.
“I’ve taken the white flag in the lead five times,” Graham said. “I’ve wrecked in lapped traffic, blown up a motor a couple of times on the last lap. I have some luck sometimes that’s just wild. I wish I could get that monkey off my back.”
Last year at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, Graham was the leader and looked on his way to a feature win until a late caution came out. Soon after, a tire began to go flat, and he fell back to fifth by the checkered.
“My tire started to go down on me that time,” Graham said. “I don’t know if I ran over something earlier in the race or under that last yellow.”
Graham had three top fives last season and two in the Covid-shortened 2020 campaign. He's aiming for that first career feature win.
Graham was the 2007 NOSA Rookie of the Year. He, like several River Cities Speedway drivers, is a graduate of the go-karts. His father, Todd is an engine builder.
“I’ve always liked them. I grew up in town here and went to the races a lot,” Graham said of the sprints. “My dad’s built motors for a long time. I got the bug at a young age.”
The competition at the front of the NOSA Sprint fields is stout. Grand Forks veterans Mark Dobmeier (169 NOSA wins) and Wade Nygaard (143 wins) have been top runners in the class for more than two decades.
“Wade and Mark, they’ve been two of the best people for 20 years around here,” Graham said. “As long as you can race with them, you consider yourself half-decent if you can actually beat them on occasion.”
That’s not to mention the emergence in recent years of Austin Pierce (45 NOSA wins), Jade Hastings (17 wins) and 2021 winner Brendan Mullen.
Life is plenty busy for Graham. He owns Advanced Tile and Stone in Grand Forks. He has four children, including his 11-year-old son, Brody who’s raced in go-karts. Brody has now hopped into a POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint this year and made his debut in a lightning sprint at Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon in early June.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking, but not too bad,” Graham said. “He kept it pretty straight.”
With his son racing a lightning sprint, he doesn’t plan to race to travel with 410 as often. So far, he has raced only three times, in large part because of the cancellations because of weather.
“I don’t know if I will travel as much as I did last year…not as much with the 410,” Graham said. “A lot of Saturday and Sundays he races at Devils Lake and Buffalo River.”
His family’s involvement and the challenge of competition on the track keep racing enjoyable for Graham.
“The time I get to spend with my dad, and now my son, too – and the competitiveness, you are always learning something,” Graham said of what he enjoys about racing. “I have always met a lot of good people racing.”
Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint #99
Residence: Grand Forks, N.D.
Sponsors: Advanced Tile and Stone, Aatrix Software