ROOKIE RACER TIM ZYLA DOMINATES PRO CLASS AT SKYVIEW DRAGS
Another gorgeous day of racing at Skyview Drags as seven classes were run off without a hitch this past Saturday. The IHRA member track located in Tioga Center, NY opened mid-season 2004 and has been running a full bracket racing program ever since. Skyview Drags has won numerous IHRA awards for its facility and its racing program. The track is open from late April until late October on Friday nights for Test & Tune and on Saturdays for racing.
The day started off with the Junior Dragster class where 16 young racers vied for the top prize of a $200 savings bond and a gorgeous trophy. Those racers not lucky enough to win the first round were offered a Second Chance Race to continue to hone their skills and get more seat time. In this week’s Second Chance Race, the finals saw Jared Baker from Newfield, NY face off against Teresa Kurtz from Newark Valley, NY. Both race cars are sponsored by Baker Racing. Baker had a good .5249 reaction time but was off his dial by quite a lot, running an 8.133 ET on his 8.02 dial. Kurtz had a respectable .5561 reaction time and but broke out when she ran a 9.356 Elapsed Time (ET) on her 9.36 dial, thus handing the win over to Baker. Tristan Roefs from Unadilla, NY and Faith Peckham from Oriskany Falls, NY were semi-finalists. In Junior Dragster Eliminations, the finals pitted 2010 Rookie of the Year racer and current points leader Randi Teed from Friendsville, PA against rookie racer Alyssa Cody from VanEtten, NY. With both cars staged, Cody left first with a good .5251 reaction time. As Teed’s lights came down, she was just a bit too anxious and red lit with a .4998 reaction time, handing the win to Cody who collected her first winner’s trophy! Dylan Peckham from Oriskany Falls, NY was the semi-finalist.
Chuck White (Super Pro) and Tim Zyla (Pro) Notch Their Second Wins of the Season!
Hot weather has invaded the Southern Tier and Saturday was no exception as a blazing hot sun blistered Rumble Ridge for the Mid-Season Championships held on July 16, 2011 at Skyview Drags. With an entire day filled with double points races on the line, racers filled the pits to take their shot at the top money and to add to their points as the standings in each class tighten up for the second half of the season.
The day started off with the Precision Crankworks Junior Dragster class, where 16 young racers filled the field. In the Second Chance Race, non-winners of Round 1 Eliminations get additional seat time and the chance to continue racing for bragging rights. The finals pitted rookie driver Faith Peckham from Oriskany Falls, NY against 15-year old Kimberly Klein from Livingston Manor, NY. In her first ever final round, Peckham proved her mettle as she cut a .5367 reaction time against Klein’s .6080 light. Peckham ran an 8.9932 ET at 70.18 mph on her 8.97 dial to take the win over Klein’s 8.9932 ET at 80.84 mph on her 8.97 dial. In Junior Dragster Eliminations, 2 of the youngest racers in the field showed their stuff as they worked their way through the pack and made it to the final round. Twelve year old Ron Klein from Livingston Manor, NY faced 11-year old Morgan Burgess out of Canton, PA who was making her first ever finals appearance. Earlier in the day, Burgess won the iPod Shuffle presented by Dave Connor, who races his ‘Slingshot One” front-engine dragster in Pro Class. Connor, who tows in from Camptown, PA generously donate the gift for the Junior Program. Burgess hoped her lucky day would continue as she staged her car against Klein in the finals. But the ever tough Klein would have a nice .5530 reaction time right out of the gate to Burgess’ .6630 light. Burgess ran a 10.9311 at 56.87 mph on her 11.10 dial and broke out. Klein ran a 9.2028 at 71.13 mph on his 9.16 dial to take the win light.
Tim Zyla wins career first at Skyview Drags’ Northern Summer Nationals!
Tim Zyla couldn’t have picked a better day to win his career first IHRA Summit Series point race, as he drove the Manley Houghtalen owned and wrenched 1970 Camaro 434 to a big win July 1 at Skyview drags.
The race opened a two-day Northern Summer Nationals holiday event, and Zyla defeated a potent 44 car Pro field after posting a semi-final and a final round appearance in his previous two races. To make the win all more satisfying, the 21-year-old Sayre driver told his father, Greg, he would win his first race ever as a birthday present as his father was celebrating his 62nd birthday July 1.
And Tim Zyla delivered…
“I was actually getting a little emotional when I got back to the pits and my dad was the first one to the car and we gave each other a big hug. But I was only emotional for 5/10’s of a second," Zyla joked. “But seriously, it was really important that my dad was there for my first win, as he’s been behind me from the start and then to deliver on his birthday, it was really special. I also want to thank Manley (Houghtalen) for believing in me, too.”
Zyla defeated longtime New York veteran racer Jim Erecitano in the final round as both drivers broke out. Zyla broke out the least and ran a 6.29 on a 6.31 at 107.21 mph for the win on the eighth-mile dragway. To top off the weekend, Zyla then drove to a semi-final finish in Saturday’s event, propelling him to the points lead in the Pro division.
Skyview Drags Pays Tribute to Bracket Racer Tommy Ingalls with the No Guts No Glory Gamblers Race; Runs Pro Sled Shootout the Same Day
A perfect race day was on tap for the Tommy Ingalls No Guts No Glory Gamblers Race hosted by Skyview Drags on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Ingalls, from Oneonta, NY was a long time bracket racer and had called Skyview his home track since 2005. He passed away on October 21, 2010 at age 53 after a courageous battle with cancer. His wife Joi, son Joe and his wife Sara, daughter Crystal Curpier and her husband Pete, his parents and his sister joined their closest friends in honoring his love of drag racing by participating in a Box / No Box gamblers race with over $4,500 in payout money up for grabs.
The day began with a memorial tribute to Ingalls by Reverend Kathy Kiekel from Binghamton, NY. Kiekel, a close friend of the Ingalls and Curpier families, spoke of Ingalls’ love for his family, friends and the sport of drag racing. She proclaimed the day to be a celebration and a time for healing. Joi Ingalls then climbed into her husband’s black Corvette and after a quick burn out, ran the car down the track and popped the chute across the finish line, scattering Ingalls’ ashes across the track he so loved to compete at. “I’m releasing Tommy to the heavens,” said Joi Ingalls. “This was his final wish and I’ve fulfilled it.”
The day then got underway as 36 Box cars took to the track, including Crystal Ingalls Curpier driving her Dad’s black Corvette and Joe Ingalls in his Superman Chevelle. Kathy Kiekel had the bad draw of Round 1 and was paired against Ingalls Curpier. “I can’t believe I wind up with Tommy’s daughter round 1,” groaned Kiekel. With a slight advantage off the starting line, Kiekel gave chase in her S10 truck trying to catch Ingalls Curpier in her ‘Vette. “When I saw that I wasn’t going to catch her, I cut her loose just past the speed traps,” said Kiekel. Ingalls Curpier broke out, going a 6.2469 on her 6.26 dial and Kiekel took the round win. “Crystal and I are such good friends and this is her Dad’s race so I felt really bad,” said Kiekel. “But her Mom Joi told me I was a good racer and made me feel better,” laughs Kiekel. Ingalls Curpier bought back in and got through the Buy Back round and brought her ‘Vette into round 2 with high expectations. So who is she randomly lined up against? Kiekel’s husband Don! “I don’t believe this,” smiled Ingalls Curpier. “The Kiekel’s are ganging up on me for my Dad’s race!” Unfortunately for Ingalls Curpier, her car couldn’t run its number and the win light went to Don Kiekel.
With both Ingalls Curpier and her husband now out of the Box race, the family turned its hopes to Joe Ingalls who was still in the running. Round after Round, Ingalls continued to turn on the win light as he raced hard to win the trophy that has his father’s name on it. “There will only ever be one of these,” said Ingalls, “and I want this more than anything.” In the semi-final round, Joe Ingalls took the win over Dean Olschewske from Ontario, NY. Ingalls had a stellar .5029 reaction time and ran a 6.157 on his 6.11 dial. Olschewske had a .5509 reaction but his car ran a 6.5232 on a 6.19 dial. Paul Kelsch, also from Ontario, NY had the bye run into the finals.
Skyview Drags Mourns the Passing of Racing Legend Bob Chipper
Racing legend Bob Chipper passed away on Sunday, July 10, 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 73 years of age. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, July 13th from 6 – 8 PM at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home located at 483 Chenango St in Binghamton, NY. Funeral services will be held at 8 PM, immediately follow the calling hours. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a contribution to Lourdes Hospice.
Chipper made an indelible impression on the sport of drag racing during the 60’s and 70’s. He got his start at Pocono Drag Lodge near Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA. Whether he was racing his ’55 Chevy, ’40 Willys, ’33 Willys or ’70 Hemi-Cuda, Chipper was a formidable opponent in the gassers circuit throughout the United States and Canada. He later went on to become a star in the East Coast Fuel Funny Car circuit during the 70’s where every week was like running a national event.
Bob Chipper raced at the Tri-Cities Drag-Way in the 60’s with Joe Amato, Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. He was inducted into the newly minted Tri-Cities Drag-Way Hall of Fame on June 11, 2011.
Bob Chipper was inducted into the 2009 Legion of Honor as a pioneer of drag racing. He was known as an innovator of the sport, a skilled mechanic and a hell of a race car driver.
He leaves behind a legion of fans and close friends who will honor his memory by continuing to carry on his love for the sport of drag racing. God Speed Chipper.
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