By Marlys Good
It’s all in the McIntosh genes – drag racing that is. There are brothers Kip and Dane McIntosh, sons of Jill and the late B.J. “Red” McIntosh; Kip’s son, Clint (plus his wife Melina and their son and daughter Kyle and Karlina) and daughter Tracy McIntosh Harper, and now there’s Stefan’s and Tracy’s 17-year-old daughter Sadie, who was the youngest driver in the Cloud Peak Drags held June 9 at the local airport.
Kip, the spark that lit the family’s drag racing fire, got into racing in the late 1950s, when he was 8 or 9 years old. He recalled, “I used to ride my bicycle from Greybull to watch dragsters on the old Lovell highway.”
In 1967 he finally got old enough to do a little “dragging” on his own. He purchased a 1959 Pontiac and raced on a track near the Greybull airport.
He said his involvement “waxed and waned” over the years; he quit for several years after the Greybull track closed but “got back into it in about 1990, taking cars to Douglas, then the closest track.
They were glad when the drag park in Billings opened.
In an article written by Fred Miller in 2003, Tracy, then 29-years-old, had brought home the first place trophy and $250, from the drag races held at the then new Intermountain Motor Sports Park in Billings. Her winning speed was about 91 mph. At that she narrowly beat out her dad, Kip, who finished as a semi-finalist.
The car she drove in the race was one that doubled as her regular car, complete with a car seat. Maybe that’s when Sadie got her taste for life in the fast lane. “Could be, ” Tracy laughs. “I used to drive her to daycare in it every day.”
Tracy’s first race was at a track in Douglas when she was 18, so Sadie is getting an earlier start than her mom.
Sadie, who will be a senior at Greybull High School, purchased her car and parts with her own money and the entire family helped rebuild it — although, Sadie says, a major portion of the credit goes to Grandpa Kip.
The car, a 1970 Buick Skylark, was “saved from the crusher” by Sadie and Kip. They have installed a new engine, new transmission, new everything, at least new to the ’70 Buick, and got it running for the first time just the day before the June 9 drag when it was officially “baptized.”
Although she had been attending drags since she just a little girl, Sadie said she was “probably about 13” when she actually got “into” it, admitting she was inspired when she saw a Buick GSX that she really liked. It was so pretty,” she recalled.
The June 9 “initiation” of the Skylark showed them several things they need to do to give the Buick more “zip and zoom.” Those will all be taken care of, as will making the car “street legal,” so Sadie can use it every day. To be “street legal” the Skylark not only has to be a licensed, but it has to have blinkers, horn, “and everything a normal car has.”
She hopes to compete for a championship in the High School Class at the Yellowstone Drag Strip in Acton, Mont. in 2019, where incidentally she will be going up against her 16-year-old cousin, Kiya McIntosh, Dane’s granddaughter.
“Kiya’s cool,” Sadie said. “She races her truck, which she drives every day,” that was made drag- and street-ready with a lot of help and effort of her father.
Sadie has a lot of driving to do before she graduates in May of 2019.
Her future plans include attending college, although she is not sure of a major, or what career choice she’ll make, but she knows it will probably be “auto body, or something involved with cars.”
That’s only natural. You can’t argue with your genes.
(The McIntosh clan is deeply involved with the Cloud Peak drags. They, and other unpaid and unsung volunteers, all drag-racing enthusiasts, are the major force behind the success of the sport. Mike Howe said his involvement is organizing, publicity, etc. “All the credit goes to the volunteers. We couldn’t do it without them.)