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.

7-30_alyssaThe 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.

7-30_groupIn the Super Pro class, 21 racers brought their dragsters, door slammers, altereds and roadsters to the staging lanes looking to take home the $900 winner’s prize. After losing first round, Don Kiekel from Binghamton, NY and his Danny Nelson Racecraft dragster made their way through Buy Backs and continued to win rounds. Meanwhile, Randy Teed from Friendsville, PA was working his Camaro through the field with his sights set on the finals. In the semi-finals, Teed took the win over Bob Hacker and his Ed Quay dragster. Hacker tows out of Bainbridge, NY and is currently third in the point standings. Kiekel took on the door slammer of RicEwin from Webster, NY. Ewin had a .5269 reaction time and ran a 6.163 on his 6.15 dial. Kiekel had a .5109 reaction and ran dead on his 5.31 dial to take the win. With Kiekel and Teed both wanting the left lane for the finals, a coin toss determined lane choice and Kiekel was sent over into the right lane for the first time this race. Teed dialed a 6.16 and would leave first against Kiekel’s 5.33 dial. Unfortunately, mechanical difficulties sent Teed’s Camaro lurching ahead, breaking the beams early causing him to foul. Kiekel, the 2008 and 2009 Super Pro track champion, notched his first win of the 2011 season. He is currently second in the points.

 In Pro class, 34 racers rolled their modified cars onto the track looking to take home the $900 top prize. Rookie racer and current points leader Tim Zyla, out of Sayre, PA has been dominating the class in the Manley Houghtalen Camaro that he started driving this year. Today would be no exception as Zyla steamrolled his way through the field and into another final. This time he would face the Belvedere of Zane Furman out of Camptown, PA. Furman had a good .5578 reaction time but his car broke out when it ran a 7.004 ET on his 7.02 dial and the win light automatically went to Zyla. Zyla had a better .5251 reaction time off the starting line and the Camaro ran dead on his 6.34 dial. “My car is running great,” said Houghtalen, “and I couldn’t ask for a better racer in Tim. This arrangement has been perfect for both of us and it’s been a lot of fun so far.” Fun that is for the Houghtalen/Zyla team, there were some other rumblings overheard at the track from various Pro racers that included words like Bounty, Target, Take Out, etc… Stay tuned for updates on this developing story! Gino Mangino from Binghamton, NY and Mike Scribani from Delhi, NY were semi-finalists.

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Pro class points leader Tim Zyla (left) in the Manley Houghtalen Camaro takes the stripe over Zane Furman’s Belvedere.

In the Bike/Sled class, 9 racers were looking to take home the top prize of $200. The finals saw Boyd McGarry from Horseheads, NY and his Polaris sled face off against Jim Collins from Chittenango, NY on his Suzuki motorcycle. McGarry would leave first on his 5.67 dial with Collins giving chase on his faster 5.25 dial.McGarry had a huge advantage off the starting line with a better reaction time. Collins ran a 5.343 on his 5.25 dial while McGarry ran dead on his 5.67 dial to take the win. Lynn Major from Barton, NY and Brent Garcia from Cincinnatus, NY, who is currently tied for first in the points, were semi-finalists.

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Jim Collins (far lane) tries to run down the sled of Boyd McCarry but won’t be able to catch him.

7-30_fentonSeventeen racers were entered in the Street Money class looking to take home the $200 winner’s prize money. Working their way through the pack, Gary French, currently in second place in the points, from Seneca Falls, NY drove his Illegal Regal into the final round. He would meet up with Shanon Fenton, currently tied for third place in the points, from Laceyville, PA. Both racers had similar reaction times off the starting line but in the end it would be Fenton and his Mustang taking the win by running a 7.912 ET on his 7.90 dial. French ran a 9.115 ET on his 9.08 dial. Paul Cody from VanEtten, NY was the semi-finalist.

7-30_conklinIn the Street Trophy class, five racers lined up for the weekly bragging rights and trophy. The finals saw Shanon Fenton, from Laceyville, PA matched up against current points leaderHowie Conklin from Grahamsville, NY. Both racers had similar reaction times off the starting line. Fenton ran a 7.950 ET on his 7.90 dial while Conklin’s Malibu ran an 8.552 ET on his 8.53 dial to take the win light. Gary French and Tim Wright from Apalachin, NY were semi-finalists.

In the Teen Championship Racing (TCR) class, Teresa Kurtz out of Newark Valley, NY took home her fifth win of the 2011 season. She is the current points leader in her class. Kurtz also races in the Junior Dragster class where she was a finalist in the Second Chance Race the same day.

Skyview Drags also welcomed NY Outlawz Index Racing to Rumble Ridge for a special show. NY Outlawz is for full-bodied factory street type cars and trucks. Index classes include 7.00 running off a .500 Pro Tree and 6.50 & 6.00 running off a .400 Pro Tree.Thompson’s Grocery in Owego, NY donated $100 for the best reaction time in Eliminations. Jeff Gallick from Athens, PA took home the cash. In the 7.00 class, Dave Thompson from Owego, NY posted the win. In the 6.50 class, Gary Pascucci from Endicott, NY took the win. And in the 6.00 class, John Tracy out of Athens, PA defeated Matt Huyck from Binghamton, NY for the win.

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Teresa Kurtz proudly holds her trophy while her
step-father Steve 
reminds everyone that this
is win number 5 for Teresa.


Tracy (left) and his ’55 Ford receive the trophy
from Skyview track announcer Michael St. James.
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Pro class racer John Tracy takes time out
from his race day to explain
about his race car to a visiting
Cub Scout pack from Waverly, NY.

Up next for Skyview Drags is their annual Junior Dragster Shootout on Saturday, August 6th. The winner from race 1 will face off against the winner from race 2 in the Shootout. Thousands of dollars in prizes have been put up by program sponsors Don & Kathy Kiekel from Precision Crankworks in Kirkwood, NY. In 2010, the track had a record 24 racers entered for the Shootout. This year, weather permitting, Skyview Drags hopes to shatter that Shootout record. Immediately following the Junior Dragster Shootout, Skyview will run a full race program for their other six classes.

Racing pictures taken by Jason Auman.Visit www.jasonauman.smugmug.com to order pictures.Cub Scout picture courtesy of Greg Zyla.