By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – On Danny Ody Memorial Night at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday evening Stewart Friesen increased his win total on the modified division all time win list to 28 while Mark Mortensen (Danny Ody Memorial sportsman event), Chuck Dumblewski (pro stock), Dave Horning Sr. (street stock), Adam Pierson (POWRi Midgets), and Darral Hulbert (vintage) all took victories in their respective divisions on Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. sponsored night at the “Track of Champions”.
In the vintage car feature Jeremy Wilder drove the car that took Ody to the 100th victory of his career.
Danny Ody was not only a great friend to the racing community but to all those who knew him as well as he would give the shirt off his back as they say to help someone out, sometimes putting his own issues aside to help some else with theirs. That was the kind of guy that Danny was.
Saturday evening many of Danny’s family and friends were in attendance at Fonda to honor him and to present awards and money to the current racers at Fonda. In honor of Danny O as he was always referred to, the starting field in each of the feature events went four wide on the track in a parade lap to salute him.
According to some statistics from his racing career Danny started his career in racing at the early age of 16. By the age of 20, Danny was racing at the Fonda Speedway for the inaugural year of the street stock division and was crowned the first track champion of that class.
Since then Danny competed nationally at many different levels of dirt and asphalt racing from Go-Karts, Slingshots, Mini-Modifieds, Outlaw Mini-Sprints, Pro Stocks, Sprints, IMCA, Late Models, Sportsman and Big Block Modifieds. His experience has rewarded him with three National Point Championships, 15 Track Championships, PMSRA Driver of the Year for 1986-87, PMSRA Driver of the Eighties, and a career high 102 professional feature wins.
Danny was very dedicated and loyal to the sport of auto racing and always credited his successes to team involvement, hard work and determination to be the best. His career statistics were as follows: 102 Career Feature Wins 15 Career Track Championships 2 National Points Championships Longest Winning Streak of 14
Danny also strived to include the kids in racing by doing Design -A -Car which was very successful with the kids coloring a paint scheme for the IMCA car that Danny ran at Fonda. He was also the racing historian for the northeast, putting endless hours into research allowing him to start OLDSPEEDWAYS.com. where you can purchase videos of Nostalgia racing.