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.
Meanwhile, over in the No Box class, 38 cars from Pro Class and Street Class filled the lanes for their shot at the large payout. Many local racers were there not only to pay tribute to Tommy Ingalls but to show their support for the entire Ingalls family. In the semi-finals round Rob Nelson defeated Mike Scribani from Delhi, NY. Dave Fetterman, from Binghamton, NY had the bye run into the finals.
With only four cars remaining, the finals of each class were set. Unfortunately, it was now late at night and the dew had set in. There was also debris on the track from the beautiful fireworks display that had gone off earlier courtesy of track owner George Swansbrough. All four drivers got together and agreed to split the purse money and give the Tommy Ingalls No Guts No Glory trophies to the local racers, declaring them the winners of this one-time event. Dave Fetterman and Joe Ingalls proudly received their trophies and had their pictures taken with the black Corvette in Victory Lane. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
On tap for the same day was the Pro Sled Shootout presented by Fuller Racing. The Pro Outlaw Shootout showcases the fastest asphalt sleds in North America. Outlaw sleds with any power combination, from turbos to nitrous, were entered into the race. Many of these snowmobiles exceeded 135 mph in the 1/8-mile. In the end, it was Ryan Orizino taking the win over Nick Cerio. Orizino had a .6319 reaction time to Cerio’s .6429 reaction time. Orizino ran a 5.5000 at 135.17 mph to turn on the win light and take the$2,000 prize money.
In the All Motor class, sleds are naturally aspirated and no power adders are allowed. These snowmobiles run speeds equal to the Outlaw sleds with everyone running right around 135 mph in the 1/8-mile. In the final round, it was Jacob Bissonnette taking the win over Joshua Plowman. Bissonnette had a .5569 reaction time to Plowman’s .5898 with Bissonnette running a 5.2760 ET at 138 mph to take home the $2,000 prize money.
In the Bike/Sled Bracket Bash, open to all motorcycles and snowmobiles, the battle was evenly matched when one snowmobile and one drag bike made it to the final round. In the end, Jamie Hitchcock out of Horseheads, NY had a .4948 red light and handed the win to Lynn Major from Tioga Center, NY. Major coasted across the finish line on his fast bike that was running 120 mph for most of the day. Major took home the $1,500 top prize for his efforts.
In the 6.50 index class racers run heads up off of a .400 pro tree start. This class saw Mark Quail take the win over David Vonark. And in the 5.50 index class, Boyd McGarry took the win.
Skyview Drags would like to thank all of the racers and fans who came out to support the track for these two very special events. Coming up this Saturday, July 16th, is the Mid-Season Championships Double Points race along with the Chad Wilcox Quick 8 and NorthEast Open Comp index racing.