Usually at this time of year, Fred Hahn and Jim Oddy would be celebrating another Pro Modified championship drag racing season.
Hahn as driver and Oddy as car owner built a dynasty of championships over their 16-year partnership, including titles in the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
The partnership has ended. Last week, Hahn of West Seneca announced that due to work-related issues he has to take a leave of absence from the sport. Oddy of Elma is searching for a new driver.
"I can't tell you if and when I will ever drive again," said Hahn. "While I love drag racing, I've supported my family by working at the Vesuvius Corp. for the last 33 years. They've gone through downsizing, and this past August I got a new assignment there, and I no longer have time to work on the car and travel to the races.
"Jim and I have a great relationship, and it's been a great ride for the last 16 years. I'm proud that we won at least one championship in every series that we ever competed in together.
"I had to make a decision now so that Jim would have time to find a new driver and prepare for next season. My family has supported me every step of the way, and now I want to experience some things with them away from the racing life."
Oddy is preparing his car for next season and plans to continue his brother-like relationship with Hahn.
"We're actively seeking and reviewing resumes to find a new driver," Oddy said. "I'm not going to hurry to find a driver. One thing that I can tell you is that while Fred Hahn will no longer be driving my race car or working with the team full time, I'm happy to announce that Fred will still assist the team when his schedule allows."