Tim Zyla wins career first at Skyview Drags’ Northern Summer Nationals!

skyviewmay6and70091Tim 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.

Read more: Tim Zyla wins career first at Skyview Drags’ Northern Summer Nationals!


Skyview Drags Pays Tribute to Bracket Racer Tommy Ingalls with the No Guts No Glory Gamblers Race; Runs Pro Sled Shootout the Same Day

tommy_ingalls_noguts_nogloryA 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.”

ingalls_trophiesThe 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.

Read more: Skyview Drags Pays Tribute to Bracket Racer Tommy Ingalls with the No Guts No Glory Gamblers Race; Runs Pro Sled Shootout the Same Day


Skyview Drags Mourns the Passing of Racing Legend Bob Chipper

bob_chipper1Racing 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_chipper2Bob 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.


Northern Summer Nationals Shatters Junior Dragster Competition Numbers; Tim Zyla Takes First Win in Pro Class

NorthernSummerNationalsSkyview Drags, an IHRA sanctioned 1/8-mile drag strip, that sits on top of a mountain nicknamed “Rumble Ridge,” hosted its annual Northern Summer Nationals 2-day racing event on Friday, July 1st and Saturday, July 2nd. With perfect weather helping to bolster attendance, the weekend was filled with hard won races and lots of family fun.


The event began on Friday with the Junior Dragster class sponsored by Precision Crankworks out of Kirkwood, NY. Skyview has been working with Don and Kathy Kiekel, owners of Precision Crankworks, to grow their Junior program for the past 3 racing seasons. And on Saturday, all that hard work was clearly evident as 22 8-18 year old racers took to the track. “Other than our huge annual Junior Dragster Shootout, which set our record at 24 Junior racers last year, this is our largest field of Juniors ever,” said Kathy Kiekel. “It seems like all of our hard work is really paying off and we are so happy to see these kids week after week coming to race with us.” These young racers, driving scale-model versions of the dragsters seen in the Super Pro class can hit 80 mph down the 1/8-mile track. The racers worked their way through single eliminations until only 2 remained. Haley Teed out of Friendsville, PA faced off against Matt Forbes from Esperance, NY. Teed had a .6270 reaction time and ran an 8.86 ET on her 8.80 dial but Forbes .5529 reaction time and his 8.0771 run on a 7.97 dial was enough to turn on the win light. Kimberly Klein, from Livingston Manor, NY earned the semi-finalist spot.

Read more: Northern Summer Nationals Shatters Junior Dragster Competition Numbers; Tim Zyla Takes First Win in Pro Class


Skyview Drags Crowns New Girlz Gone Racing Winner; Completes All Classes on Saturday, June 25th

Early morning rain threatened to derail another weekend of racing at Skyview Drags, but track personnel were able to dry the track just as the Junior Dragster racers started to enter the gates. Although overcast for much of the day and amid a few sprinkles of rain during the day, Rumble Ridge held its own and Skyview was able to complete all 7 of its regular class races plus the special Girlz Gone Racing event.

The day started off with the Junior Dragster class. This class is for our 8-18 year olds who run scale-model versions of the dragsters that you see in our Super Pro class. Eleven young racers participated in the Precision Crankworks sponsored class. In the Second Chance Race, which Skyview offers to its youngest class of racers for those who do not win the first round, Jared Baker out of Newfield, NY defeated Haley Teed from Friendsville, PA when she went red by .4999 – just .0001 on the wrong side of perfection. In eliminations points leader Randi Teed from Friendsville, PA defeated Cody Reome out of Blodgett Mills, NY when Cody red-lit right out of the gate.

Read more: Skyview Drags Crowns New Girlz Gone Racing Winner; Completes All Classes on Saturday, June 25th


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