Having a father who had not only had a successful race-driving career but was also an accomplished racecar fabricator, engine builder and mechanic definitely started 17 year old Rick O’Dell off in the right direction when he 1st got behind the wheel of a 1953 Ford in Western’s “Jalopy” class in 1966.
In his inaugural appearance at the track with 18 other cars on May 7th in front of 2,200 fans, Rick showed he had definitely inherited his Dad’s racing genes by posting a fast enough time to put him in the trophy dash which he went on to win. And when the final checkered flag of that season had been waved, Rick emerged in 2nd place in the points standings and was awarded the “Victoria Auto Racing Association” (VARA) “Rookie of the Year”award.
The following season saw a total of 65 registered cars in the now-”Stockcar” class with Rick winning the “Sponsors Trophy” and finishing 4th in the standings. In 1968 he won the “Roy White Memorial” race and completed the year in 2nd spot. In addition to moving up to the “Super Stock” class in ’69, Rick also served as VARA’s Vice-President and tried out Western’s new “Figure 8” division in which he set the season track record of 21.15. In 1970’s “Late Model Stock” class, he finished 4th in points and also won the “Most Popular Driver” award.
Wheeling a new ’63 Plymouth in ’71, Rick had his best season to date, winning the “Corby Cup” (most main event wins), the Sponsors Trophy, the Championship Race, repeated as the Most Popular Driver and was the Super Stock Points Champion. With the exception of the Sponsors Trophy, the following year was a carbon copy with Rick also setting the Super Stock season track record of 18.08 on August 26th. In 1973 he once more was the Popular Driver and ended the season sitting in 3rd position which he raised to 2nd place the following year as well as capturing the Popular Driver award for the 4th straight year.
He ran in“Open Competition” Super Stock classes with some success in the 1980’s, travelling to various tracks throughout the Pacific Northwest and as well as competing at Western.
Rick passed in 2006.