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DRO: How do you feel about Bill Bader and IHRA seemingly always changing the rules for Pro Mod?

JO: Bill desperately wants rules that will make both the blown cars and nitrous cars absolutely equal in performance. Unfortunately, the problem he and the rules makers have is that the performance of each type the cars is condition-related. Depending on weather and track conditions, one kind of car is going to be better than the other at any given race. You can't make rules that work under every conceivable condition. I know that the nitrous cars need some help, but I don't think it is fair to penalize the blower cars because they have made their combination work better. Give the nitrous cars some help, but don't penalize the blown cars with rule changes. The cars are closer performance-wise than they have ever been. Nitrous cars won a majority of NHRA races including the U.S. Nationals. I believe that if Bill does make a (rule) change, he could make a major mistake. He has to be very careful.

DRO: Part of the problem was the times recorded at Budd's Creek. What about that deal, and do you think we'll see better numbers in 2002?

JO: You have to understand that Budd's Creek had the best conditions I've seen in 40 years of racing. We had 60-degree air, the track temperature was 75 degrees and the air calculated to 400 feet below sea level! Every class picked up a tenth or so at that event. We set the speed record at 231 with a 6.12 e.t. and (Mike) Janis went 6.11. I don't think you'll see those numbers bettered anytime soon unless we get similar conditions somewhere.

DRO: Will the Jim Oddy Pro Mod team be racing with the IHRA in the 2002 season?

Jim Oddy: It depends on what they (the rules makers) do. If IHRA makes the rules changes I've heard they might -- if they take gear and overdrive away from us -- then the best the blown cars would probably be able to run is 6.40's. I know that because, when they tried to make us run the 4.56 gear, I had the quickest car and the best we could run was 6.40. I promise you that I won't go back to running 6.40's and having no chance of qualifying, much less winning. If IHRA were to make those kinds of rule changes, I would have to look at other places to race. NHRA would be one alternative. The NHRA series would be a good fit for us, especially with all eight of their races being run at tracks east of the Mississippi. [The team is based in Elma, NY.]

DRO: How much longer will Jim Oddy keep racing?

JO: That's a good question. We will definitely be back for one more year. Summit has been very good to us. Skooter (Peaco) and everyone at Summit are a pleasure to work with. We probably - no, make that absolutely -- couldn't have won the championship last year without their financial support and that of BDS and Isky, who have been with us for years. Part of what we will have to look at after next season is the cost. The cost of racing in Pro Mod has skyrocketed. We spend every dime we get from our sponsorships just to get through the season and the price of racing keeps going up. Unfortunately, the purses haven't. So, I guess you could say that I will race as long as I can still afford to. Right now, thanks to my sponsors, that is one more year at least.

 

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