SKYVIEW DRAGS FINISHES 2011 RACING SEASON WITH A 2-DAY EVENT; TRACK CHAMPIONS NAMED IN ALL CLASSES!
Warm temperatures and sun-filled skies made for a spectacular finish to the 2011 racing season at Skyview Drags. The track, which opened mid-season in 2004, completed its 2011 racing season with a jam-packed 2-day event.
On Saturday, October 8 the day started off with the Junior Dragster program sponsored by Precision Crankworks in Kirkwood, NY. Nineteen young racers took to the track to start the full weekend of racing. In eliminations, the finals saw Kimberly Klein from Livingston Manor, NY against Haley Teed from Friendsville, PA. Klein had the reaction time advantage off the line and took the win light running 7.973 ET on her 7.90 dial. Abby Hacker from Bainbridge, NY was the semi-finalist. Those racers not lucky enough to win the first round of eliminations were offered a Second Chance Race to participate in. In the Second Chance Race, the finals saw Dave Morris from Corning, NY against Amanda White from Cicero, NY. Both racers were slow off the starting line, with Morris running an 8.206 ET on his 8.13 dial and White running an 8.479 ET on her 8.44 dial to take the win. Danny Morris from Corning, NY and Paige Montgomery from Alden, NY were semi-finalists.
In the Super Pro class, veteran racer John Cooper from Binghamton, NY has had a tough racing season. Nothing has gone his way for the entire year. Mechanical gremlins plagued his racing program and it got to the point where Cooper seriously considered selling his beautiful Mullis dragster to buy a new altered to race with. But in the end, cooler heads prevailed and Cooper worked on his car, replacing part after part until at trip to Moosic, PA to have Sepanek’s take a look at his transmission proved to be the turning point. With the car and driver now ready, the Cooper’s made their way to Skyview on Friday night for the last Test & Tune of the season. Stuck in a traffic jam for nearly 2 hours, they finally arrived at the track but only managed to get a few passes in before the track closed for the evening. With fingers crossed, Cooper started the race day with two good time trials and a lot of high hopes. Round after round, Cooper’s car did not disappoint him as he had stellar reaction times and his car remained deadly consistent. In the final round, it was John Cooper against Aaron Hacker from Bainbridge, NY. Cooper had the hole shot advantage off the starting line and his car never let him down at the top end. Ripping it just before the finish line, Cooper ran a 4.858 ET on his 4.84 dial to take his first win light of the year. Back in the pits, you couldn’t wipe the smile off of Cooper’s face. “I really needed this win,” said Cooper. Scott Popple from Canastota, NY was the semi-finalist.
In the Pro class, the finals pitted Ray Thurston III against his son, Ray Thurston IV. Both racers are from Towanda, PA. The younger Thurston is the 2010 IHRA Division 3 Summit Super Series No Box Champion. His father is a prolific winner in both the NHRA and IHRA. Thurston IV has a stellar .5011 reaction time (.5000 is perfect) off the starting line and ran a 6.256 ET on his 6.22 dial to take the win in the Tony DiRose sponsored Mustang. Thurston Sr. broke out when he ran a 7.307 ET on his 7.32 dial. Tony Zangari and Shane Garinger from New Albany, PA were semi-finalists.
In the Bike/Sled class, the finals saw Jim Collins against Skip Tamburino from Westernville, NY. Tamburino is the 2010 IHRA Division 3 Bracket Finals Bike Champion. Tamburino and his Kawasaki motorcycle had the starting line advantage with a .5068 reaction time to Collins .5467 reaction time. Collins ran a 5.231 ET on his 5.22 dial while Tamburino had an equally impressive 5.239 ET on his 5.22 dial to take the win light.
In the Street Money class, Ken Bacon went up against Justin Harder. Bacon had the starting line advantage with a .5479 reaction time to Harder’s .5759 reaction time. In a double break out, with both cars running under their predicted ET, Bacon was under by less, running an 8.644 ET on his 8.65 dial to take the win.
In the Street Trophy class, Dan French from Seneca Falls, NY lined up against Shannon Fenton from Laceyville, PA in the finals. French had the starting line advantage over Fenton. Fenton ran a 7.845 ET on his 7.80 dial, while French ran a 12.047 ET on his 12.00 dial to take the win. Tim Wright from Apalachin, NY was the semi-finalist.
Northeast Open Comp was also at Skyview Drags for the 2-day racing event. The finals saw Steve McNeil from Tioga Center, NY lined up against Kenneth Roberts from Ulster, PA. With both racers having similar reaction times, it came down to the top end where Roberts USS Nemesis Chrysler Cordoba ran a 9.559 ET on his 9.40 dial while McNeil’s Mustang ran a 7.393 ET on his 7.28 dial to take the win. George Coleman and his Redneck Rumbler Camaro from Barton, NY was the semi-finalist.
On Sunday, October 9 racers returned for another full day of racing beginning with the Junior Dragster program. Thirteen young racers ran all out as they battled for the top point’s spots in their class. In the eliminations round, the finals saw Matt Forbes from Esperance, NY against Randi Teed from Friendsville, PA. Anxious to preserve her points lead, Teed was too fast off the starting line and fouled with a .4978 reaction time handing the win over to Forbes. Danny Morris and his brother Tommy Morris from Corning, NY were semi-finalists. Those racers not lucky enough to win the first round of eliminations were once again offered a Second Chance Race to participate in and earn some more seat time in their scale-model dragsters. In the Second Chance Race, Haley Teed from Friendsville, PA lined up against Morgan Burgess from Canton, PA in the finals. Teed had a huge hole shot lead off the starting line and took the win light running a 9.217 ET on her 8.92 dial. Dave Morris from Corning, NY was the semi-finalist.
In the Super Pro class, John Cooper continued along the comeback trail by winning round after round. Winning rounds right alongside of him was his best friend Don Kiekel from Binghamton, NY. Kiekel had just secured his third Super Pro track championship earlier in the day. In the finals, Cooper dialed his Mullis dragster in at a 4.83 for the right lane while Kiekel dialed his Danny Nelson Racecraft dragster in at a 5.22 for the left lane. Kiekel had the starting line advantage with a .5188 reaction time to Cooper’s .5359 reaction. But on the top end, Kiekel ran too fast and Cooper, whomping on the gas pedal, took the win light for a back-to-back win to finish the weekend. Jim Potenziano Sr. from Johnson City, NY and Kris Larsen from Cortland, NY were semi-finalists.
In the Pro class, Sandy Hacker from Bainbridge, NY is one of the most improved drivers of the 2011 season. But a win still eluded her. On Saturday evening, she was wistfully looking over the trophies and wondering when it would be her turn to bring her 1964-1/2 Mustang to Victory Lane. Sunday would prove to be her day. Hacker weaved her way through each round and when she met up with Paul Scribani from Delhi, NY in the semi-finals, it was time to call in some help. Super Pro racer Kathy Kiekel ran over to Hacker’s husband, Super Pro racer Bob Hacker, to give him her lucky yellow sun bonnet, which he promptly put on his head. With Hacker laughing hysterically in her car, everyone was sure she would red light but Hacker held the reaction time advantage off the starting line and her car ran its number to take the win and put Hacker in the finals. Ray Thurston III, who was the runner-up in Saturday’s Pro class race, defeated Zane Furman from Camptown, PA in the other semi-finals with a hole shot off the starting line. With Bob Hacker still wearing Kiekel’s fabulous yellow sun bonnet, Hacker staged her Mustang and Thurston staged his Barracuda for the final round of the race. Hacker took another starting line advantage with her .5479 reaction time. Thurston ran a 7.319 ET on his 7.29 dial and Hacker ran a 6.926 ET on her 6.89 dial to take the first win of her career. Later, the Hackers, Kiekels and Coopers, all good friends on and off the race track, got together at their favorite restaurant to celebrate the great season of racing at Skyview Drags. “I don’t care if I never win another race,” proclaimed Hacker as she continued to relish her victory. But everyone knew she didn’t mean it and it wouldn’t be long until she would be angling for that next win. To quote Don Kiekel, “The only thing that never gets old is winning!”
In the Bike/Sled class, the finals saw Lynn Major from Tioga Center, NY and his Dangerous Toy Suzuki bike line up against Dicky Reome from Blodgett Mills, NY and his snowmobile. With Reome dialed in at a 7.95 he would leave first against the 5.12 dial of Major. Both racers fouled when they left too early off the light, but since Reome fouled first, the win went to Major. Brent Garcia from Cincinnatus, NY was the semi-finalist
In the Street Money class, Kenneth Roberts from Ulster, PA met up with Ken Bacon in the finals. Roberts had the starting line advantage with a .5378 reaction time. Bacon ran an 8.704 ET on his 8.57 dial while Roberts ran a 9.582 ET on his 9.49 dial to take the win. Matt Peterson from Spencer, NY was the semi-finalist.
In the Street Trophy class, the finals pitted Tim Wright from Apalachin, NY against Charlie Fulmer. With Fulmer dialed an 8.50 and Wright dialed a slightly slower 8.90 Wright was supposed to leave first. Unfortunately, Fulmer fouled when he left before the third amber light came on, handing the win over to Wright. Dan French from Seneca Falls, NY was the semi-finalist.
In the last race of the season for Northeast Open Comp, the finals saw George Coleman from Barton, NY against Tim Wright from Apalachin, NY. Both drivers missed the tree but Coleman’s reaction time was better and that helped propel him to Victory Lane as his Camaro ran a 6.909 ET on is 6.81 dial to Wright’s 9.001 ET on his 8.90 dial. Jim Erecitano from Vestal, NY drove his Last Boy Scout Chevelle to the semi-finals.
These races marked the end of the season and the Track Champions for each class were named:
Super Pro: 2011 Track Champion Don Kiekel takes his third championship in 7 years. His wife Kathy Kiekel, the 2011 IHRA Division 3 Top ET Champion and 2011 Summit Super Series Box Track Champion, is the runner-up. Aaron Hacker finished third. His father Bob Hacker finished fourth. Kris Larsen rounded out the top five.
Pro: 2011 Track Champion Tim Zyla takes his first championship by 17 points over his nearest competitor. Zyla is also the 2011 Summit Super Series No Box Track Champion. Steve Cross is the runner-up. Mel Teed finished third. Shane Garinger and Sandy Hacker tied for fourth.
Bike/Sled: 2011 Track Champion Brent Garcia takes home his seventh track championship in 7 years. Lynn Major is the runner-up. Rob Wither finished third. Carla Kitchen finished fourth. Matt Luke rounded out the top five.
Street Money: 2011 Track Champion Howie Conklin takes his first championship by 17 points over his nearest competitor. Kenneth Roberts is the runner-up. Ken Bacon finished third. Charlie Fulmer finished fourth. Gary French rounded out the top five.
Street Trophy: 2011 Track Champion Howie Conklin doubles up to take the championship in this class as well. Gary French was the runner-up. Charlie Fulmer finished third. Joe Santucci, Tim Wright and Shanon Fenton tied for fourth.
Teen Championship Racing: 2011 Track Champion Teresa Kurtz takes her first championship in her second year of racing in the TCR class. Brandon Searcy is the runner-up. Christian Taylor finished third.
Junior Dragster: 2011 Track Champion Randi Teed takes home her first track championship. Ron Klein Jr. is the runner-up. Haley Teed finished third. Kimberly Klein finished fourth. Jared Baker finished fifth. Dylan Peckham and Faith Peckham tied for sixth. Morgan Burgess finished eighth. Abby Hacker finished ninth. Alyssa Cody rounded out the top ten.