Nearly 200 Racers Pay Tribute to a Fellow Racer in the Chad Wilcox Memorial Bike/Sled Shootout
|Chad Wilcox (holding plaque) takes home the win in 2010 at Skyview Drags. Celebrating with him are the Dote family (left) and his parents Lynette & Jim Wilcox (right).|
On Saturday, August 20, 2011 181 racers, their families, friends and fans gathered at Skyview Drags to honor the late Chad Wilcox formerly of Brookfield, NY, who was 24-years of age when he passed away on July 4, 2010 as the result of a tragic snowmobile drag racing accident at another race track.
Wilcox had raced his snowmobile at Skyview Drags in the Bike/Sled class and had several wins under his belt at Skyview. He is survived by his parents, Jim & Lynnette Wilcox and his brothers Matthew and Bradley (Brynley) Wilcox. He left behind his loving fiancée Joanna Dote, her parents Mike and Connie Dote and her sister Camie Manner. Wilcox was a member of the Dote Racing team and the Dote family sponsored the Memorial event at the track this past weekend.
|Ron Klein (3rd from left in cap) celebrates another win at Skyview Drags with his family and friends.|
The day started off with the Precision Crankworks Junior Dragster class. Once the fog cleared off Rumble Ridge, fifteen young racers took to the field looking to continue their battle for the points lead and to try and take home the $200 savings bond and trophy. In the finals, it was Ron Klein from Livingston Manor, NY who is currently second in the points standings against Haley Teed from Friendsville, PA who is currently third in the points standings. Teed had the reaction time advantage when she cut a .6069 light to Klein’s .6289 reaction time. Teed ran an 8.8319 Elapsed Time (ET) on her 8.76 dial while Klein ran a 9.0450 ET on his 9.01 dial to take the win. Randi Teed, who is currently leading the points, and Jared Baker from Newfield, NY, who is currently fourth in the points, were semi-finalists.
After the Junior Dragster class completed their racing, a memorial service for Chad Wilcox was conducted by the Rev. Kathy Kiekel at the starting line. Hundreds of racers, family, friends and fans gathered in the staging lanes and lined the fence to pay honor to Wilcox. The race sled of Connie Dote, from Brookfield, NY was brought out onto the track by Dote and Wilcox’s father, Jim Wilcox. After the service, the racers gave Jim Wilcox a rousing send off as he powered the Dote sled down the right lane to make one last race in his son’s memory.
|Jim Wilcox (on sled) prepares to take a run down the track in honor of his late son, Chad Wilcox. Connie Dote help Wilcox get ready to drive her sled.|
Just prior to the start of the Chad Wilcox Bike/Sled Shootout, the Dote Family, who sponsored this event, announced that the winner’s purse would be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 and that the runner-up prize would be increased from $800 to $1,300.Thirty-one racers drove their motorcycles and sleds onto the track looking to take home the top prize money, which was one of the largest purses offered to Bike/Sled racers. In the finals, Don Becker had the starting line advantage with a .5419 reaction time to Herb Bingel’s .5891 reaction time. Bingel broke out at the finish line by running a too fast 6.8178 ET on his 6.84 dial while Becker was stellar with his 6.3101 ET on his 6.30 dial to take the win. Dennis Boston out of Canostota, NY was the semi-finalist.
In the Chad Wilcox Sweet 16 Pro Tree Shootout, the fastest 16 sleds and motorcycles qualified for the bracket race to vie for the top money prizes. The winner would take home $500 and the runner-up $200. The finals saw David Vonarx cut a .5440 light against Matt Luke’s slightly better .5310 reaction time. Vonarx would run a 6.6040 ET on his 6.63 dial while Luke, who towed in from Cicero, NY would run a 6.0300 on his 5.95 dial to take the win. Shawn Fetter was the semi-finalist.
In the Super Pro class, 22 racers brought their fast dragsters, door slammers, altereds and roadsters to the track to try and win the $900 prize money. In the finals, Aaron Hacker from Bainbridge, NY earned his first win of the season when he defeated 2008 and 2009 Track Champion Don Kiekel from Binghamton, NY. Hacker had a .5049 reaction time (.5000 is perfect) to Kiekel’s .5221 reaction. Hacker’s dragster ran a 5.204 ET on his 5.18 dial while Kiekel and his dragster broke out running a 5.2869 ET on a 5.31 dial. Hacker is the 2010 Super Pro Rookie of the Year. Kiekel is now tied with his wife Kathy for the point’s lead. Crystal Curpier from Oneonta, NY and Tom Clark were semi-finalists.
|Aaron Hacker (far right) celebrates his first Super Pro win this season with his family. (L to R) Dad Bob Hacker who races in Super Pro, Bob’s wife Sandy who races in Pro and their daughter Abby who races in Junior Dragsters celebrate with Aaron in Victory Lane.|
In the Pro class, 42 racers staged their modified cars looking to take home the $900 top prize. In the end, it was 4-time defending Track Champion Shane Garinger from New Albany, PA who drove his Dart Swinger into the finals to face rookie racer Paul Scribani from Delhi, NY. Garinger had a .5249 reaction time to Scribani’s slightly slower .5699 reaction time. Garinger ran a 6.896 ET on his 6.83 dial, while Scribani’s Camaro ran a 6.6478 ET on his 6.61 dial to take home his very first win! Jeff Gallick from Athens, PA and Jim Erecitano from Vestal, NY were semi-finalists.
|The Scribani family celebrates Paul’s first win. (L to R) Brother Mike Scribani, Paul (holding trophy), Paul’s wife Rebecca, Paul’s Mom Kathy and Dad Tony.||
The Scribani’s dedicated Paul’s win to their brother/son Andrew who passed away 3 years ago. God Speed Andrew.
The Scribani family dedicated this win to their youngest son/brother, Andrew who passed away in 2008 as the result of a tragic motorcycle accident. “Never forgotten; Forever in our hearts until we are together once again.”
In the Bike/Sled class, racers bring their street bikes, drag bikes and snowmobiles to compete for the $200 top prize. In the final round, current point’s leader Rob Withers from Blodgett Mills, NY ran dead on his number, running an 8.7630 ET on his 8.76 dial. Unfortunately for Withers, he was dead late on the tree and Jamie Hitchcock, who had a great .5210 reaction time and ran a 6.9280 ET on his 6.78 dial took the win light. Fred Jacobs was the semi-finalist.
|Jamie Hitchcock gives chase to the slower sled of Rob Withers (already out of the picture) and takes the win in the Bike/Sled class with his hole-shot reaction time.|
The Street Money class had 18 racers entered to win the $200 top prize. The finals pitted Kenneth Roberts from Ulster, PA and his USS Nemisis Chrysler Cordoba against Ken Bacon from Elmira, NY. With both racers having very close reaction times, it would come down to who ran closer to his dial. Bacon ran an 8.8058 ET on his 8.75 dial while Roberts ran a 9.5471 ET on his 9.53 dial to take the win light for the first time this season. Joe Santucci from Elmira, NY and Shanon Fenton from Laceyville, PA were semi-finalists.
|Past Street Class Track Champion Kenneth Roberts (center) records his first win of the season.|
In the Street Trophy class 6 racers looked to take home the trophy and bragging rights for the week. The finals saw Joe Santucci against Charlie Fulmer. Santucci had the advantage right off the line with a .5351 reaction time. Fulmer ran an 8.8211 ET on his 8.75 dial while Santucci ran an 8.8057 on his 8.72 dial to take the win.
In the Teen Championship Racing class, Brandon Searcy from Waverly, NY had a stellar .5540 reaction time against current point’s leader Teresa Kurtz out of Newark Valley, NY. With a hole shot advantage, Searcy only had to drive the finish line against Kurtz to take the win. Kurtz’s Camaro broke out by running a 10.6329 on her 10.64 dial while Searcy also broke out when his Silverado ran an 11.3700 on his 11.38 dial. In a double break out, the driver who breaks out by the least amount is the winner and that meant that Kurtz saw her win light come on for her sixth win of the season. The TCR class is currently seeking a sponsor to help grow the class. The TCR class is for 13-17 year old racers who drive their family street legal cars with a licensed parent or guardian in the passenger’s seat with them.
With 9 classes of racing run off without a hitch on Saturday, track director Amy Culver would like to thank the Skyview crew for all of their hard work and dedication. “A special thank you goes out to the Dote family for all of their support of the track and for their love of the sport of Drag Racing,” said Culver. “And a very special thank you to Super Pro racer Kathy Kiekel, an ordained minister who provided a beautiful memorial service for Chad Wilcox.”
Next up for Skyview Drags is a regular Test & Tune on Friday, August 26 and then a non-points race for all classes on Saturday, August 27. For the Labor Day weekend, Skyview will run their regular Test & Tune on Friday, September 2 and then the IHRA Ironman Classic Double Points race on Saturday, September 3.
Chad Wilcox 2010 photo courtesy of Kathy Kiekel.
Andrew Scribani photo courtesy of Kathy Scribani.
All other photos taken by Jason Auman. Visit www.jasonauman.smugmug.com to order pictures from Skyview races.