Ozzie Olson’s “Right Hand Man”
Bobby Unser told me of a man named Tom Dailey and referred to him as Ozzie’s “Right Hand Man” who was deeply involved in the Olsonite race program.
Upon my inquiry, Chris Olson shared the following recollections…
“Tom Dailey worked for Dad at Olsonite Corporation…he was a terrific guy….a fun loving Irishman with a great sense of humor. Tom took on the Olsonite racing affairs in addition to his management responsibilities with the manufacture and sale of toilet seats”.
“It was basically Dad, Tom Dailey and Jim Chapman that were involved in the racing efforts on behalf of Olsonite from the beginning in 1967 thru the end in 1974. They were 3 peas in a pod, if I might say. They traveled to most all the races together and had hospitality events at each race no matter where they were in the country. Tom worked for Dad for over 30 years”.
“The story kind of went like this…Dad and Dan (Gurney) met at a party in Southern California. Dan was looking for a sponsor for his Eagle race cars. Dad basically stepped up to the plate and said he would sponsor Dan, they shook hands and the Olsonite Eagle was born. I believe Dad flew back home, walked into the office the next day, called Tom Dailey in and said out of the blue, “we are getting into the racing business”. Jim Chapman was then brought into the fold and away they went. They won the very first race they entered at Riverside in the fall of 1967”.
Olson and Unser, Tom Dailey Center