The 2020 Denso U.S. Nationals didn’t work out in Steve Graham’s favor.

The Santa Clara, Calif., Pro Stock driver failed to make the 16-car field. Graham’s Camaro quickest time was 6.715 seconds at 206.01, which was 20th on the ladder.

The U.S. Nationals was Graham’s third race of the season.

“It has not been a very good year,” Graham said. “Pomona (Calif.) we did OK, and Phoenix we didn’t qualify because of stupid mistakes. Here (at the U.S. Nationals) we had something going on. We are trying to figure out what has changed in the car to get how we were at the beginning of the year in Pomona.”

Graham said he plans on going to one more event this season – the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

“Next year we will come back out and hopefully we will have more of a normal schedule,” Graham said. “We’re just going to finish out Vegas and then we will be ready for next year. (The COVID-19 pandemic) hasn’t made racing any harder except for the fact there’s been less races our way. We didn’t have the Western Swing.

“Normally we race about nine or 10 races a year, mostly on the West Coast. We come back here to Indy and St. Louis and then the rest on the West Coast. That didn’t happen this year and it is what it is.”
Graham said the passion to excel in Pro Stock is what fuels him.

“I like the challenge of trying to make the car go faster,” said Graham, a longtime Comp Eliminator competitor. “The driving part of it is fun too, but I have always liked the car side of it. You’re racing against the best guys in the world in Pro Stock and it only makes you better. I’ve always felt the only way you’re going to get better is to just jump in and start racing with them and you learn things that you never thought would even come up.

“Racing Comp Eliminator was a lot of fun. If I go back to Comp, I will be better than I was that’s for sure.”

Graham’s Pro Stock Camaro is powered by engines from Lester and Chris McGaha.

“Lester and Chris are unbelievably good guys who will do anything for you,” Graham said. “Without them, I couldn’t be racing Pro Stock, period.”