smalldrobanner.gif (3353 bytes)


JO: One of the main reasons I am still racing is that my sons are involved. I'm racing because they like it and are involved. I really enjoy being with them at the races. On top of all that, they are a very big part of the team. As far as driving, they don't exhibit any interest in driving; they are more interested in doing what I do, tuning the engines and setting the car up. Besides, the boys and I all feel that Fred Hahn is the best person to drive this car and an integral and critical part of what makes our team successful.

DRO: You had a lot of success as a driver and tuner. Do you miss driving?

JO: I always did well when I was driving. I won some championships and the U.S. Nationals. I miss it a little but I'll tell you there is just too much to do on one of these cars now and I don't think you can tune and drive on of these kinds of cars and be really successful unless you're Scotty Cannon. I'll tell you something, though, that keeps me from even thinking about getting in the seat. Fred drives this car exactly like I would drive it. When I'm watching the car make a lap I'll say to myself "shift" and as I'm saying it, Fred does it. There is no reason for me to drive with Fred doing the job as well as he does.

DRO: How would you describe the relationship between you and Fred Hahn? (photo)

JO: It's really good. We had a tough time the first half of this season because both of us want to win so badly and we weren't. People don't realize how much Fred sacrifices to drive this car. All of his vacation time and days off at his real job are used up working on and driving this car. Fred and I and Billy Leverentz have been doing this since 1989 and we still want to do this. Fred wants to win as much as I do and that's what makes this partnership work. We have our ups and downs, but when we set a record, win a race, or a championship, that all goes away. I don't know many other teams that have lasted as long as Fred and I have or have had much more success outside of Austin Coil and John Force and that's some pretty good company to be in.

DRO: There is talk that some racers are going to have both a blown car and a nitrous car for next season. Do you think that is a smart thing to do and will it be an advantage?

JO: The only way that is going to work is if a team has two complete cars and brings both of them to the track. Then when they determine the track and weather conditions for that race, they can run the car that best fits those conditions. I won't be doing that.

DRO: There has been a lot of talk about Hemi-powered cars having an advantage. Several prominent racers are rumored to be working on Hemi combinations for the coming season. Any thoughts on that?

JO: I think it depends on who is working on the motors. If Brad Anderson or Bob Newberry are doing motors, they will be very competitive but they won't dominate. One of the problems is that many engine guys are afraid that if they go to the expense and time to really get the Hemi program right, IHRA would immediately change the rules to handicap them.

DRO: Would you ever have a Hemi-powered car? You used to have Hemis in all of your race cars including the car you drove when you won at the U.S. Nationals. [Oddy drove an Opel BB/GS to the Competition Eliminator win in 1972.]



Copyright 2000, Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source