KonRodz Racing Road to the Future 

By:       Bruce Biegler

Canadian race car team owner Spiro Kontos is a big man with a big heart.  The owner and operator of Recyco Environment/Direct Waste Systems also has big intentions for his KonRodz Racing effort – a two-car Top Alcohol Funny Car team which is fast gaining in the notoriety department. After first dabbling with a nitro Funny Car earlier this decade, Kontos (from the Toronto area) morphed his team towards a more manageable Top Alcohol equation.   Since then his team has provided valued ground for up-and-coming young drivers and crew members while at the same time becoming contenders.

Spiro Kontos

“In 2005 we originally had a nitro Funny Car which was driven by Smax Smith and which we ran on a limited basis,” Spiro said.  “But the expense associated with that class was just too much.  It made more sense to focus on Top Alcohol.  We are now in our 4th year of that journey and every season has been more serious then the year before.”

 Late in 2008 Kontos made a serious commitment when he bought the entire 2-car racing operation of Mark Thomas, a multi-time IHRA World Champion.   Then during mid-season 2009 he hired on the tuning expertise of Dale and Laurie Cannister.   Those moves have proven to be important cogs within the evolution of KonRodz Racing.

 “Dale and Laurie have certainly helped our progress,” Spiro continued.  “They bring a wealth of knowledge to our team.  Dale is calling the tuning shots and Laurie is our driving coach.”

 Kontos has and remains very focused on giving young talented drivers opportunity.  His most recent candidates are Cassie Simonton (from Johnston Ohio) and Jason McKnight (from Barrie ON).  In a very recent development however (just this week), Jason McKnight, who had been the right hand man to Al Billes for 10 years, has announced he will be leaving the KonRodz team to rejoin Al Billes at Roger Burgess’ R2B2 Racing camp.   Kontos has yet to name a replacement driver. 

Cassie Simonton wheels the KonRoz Racing Monte Carlo

“I realized a while ago that to be ultimately successful in this sport you need to surround yourself with talented people,” concluded Spiro. “We have people with long time experience in drag racing and also young determined people.  I think that, along with some more time, will make us better.  Right now we have a contending team but my goal is to take all this to the next level and to win some races.”   

Laurie & Dale Cannister and Jason McKnight have made important contributions to the futue of KonRodz Racing

The KonRodz Racing team is planning a very busy 2nd half of the 2010 season.  Not only will they be active at the NHRA LODRS level they will also be entered for a number of NHRA national events including the U.S. Nationals.   Kontos, who also has business interests in the Phoenix area, confirmed that he would like to make his first ever team appearance in the West, at the Pomona Finals next November.

 For more background information of this potential ridden Canadian team visit:  www.konrodzracing.com

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis