By PATRICK CASEY
Brandon Odom grabbed another win at the Five Flags Speedway on May 8 as he fought past James Kimbrough and Keith English on the opening lap of the 40-lap race in the Pro Late Model feature. Odom was able to gain an early advantage on defending champion Johanna Long to get the victory, despite Long remaining constantly in the hunt over the final seven laps and attempting to nudge Odom’s back bumper during the final two laps of the race.
“I knew I had to get to the front as quick as I could,” Odom said. “I knew (Long) was going to be fast and would probably be hard to hold off once she got to second. I was doing all I could at the end. I even got into the wall a little bit there coming to the finish.”
“If I could have made it to second sooner, I might have had a better chance,” Long said. “I got into (Odom) a few times, but I didn’t want to hit him too hard. I did everything I could to get by, short of wrecking him.”
Odom was driving his family-owned car that he drove last season, after the car owned by Royce Johnston (that he won the season-opening race in) was demolished in a crash during the last event at Five Flags.
“It’s good to get a win like this, especially after the trouble we had in the last race,” Odom said. “We worked really hard getting this car ready for tonight. I think it shows that I can win in either car. It’s not just the car that makes us competitive.”
As of May 8, Odom was in second place with 159 points in the Pro Late Model racing category, trailing Ronnie Smith by five points.
Odom, who is finishing up his sophomore year at Walton High School, broke the Pro Late Model track record during qualifying in March with a time of 16.99 seconds.
Pro Late Model (results from Friday, May 8) 1. Brandon Odom; 2. Johanna Long; 3. Ronnie Smith; 4. Jr Niedecken; 5. Keith Thorpe; 6. James Kimbrough; 7. Shain Cheney; 8. Keith English; 9. Eric Courville; 10. John Thompson; 11. Kyle Bryant; 12. David Jones. (Some information provided courtesy of 5flagsspeedway.com)