Cory Reed’s Pro Stock Motorcycle career continued its upward spiral at his “home” track, Bandimere Speedway, the one-of-a-kind facility carved into the side of the easternmost ridge of the Rocky Mountains just outside Denver. Qualified 9th of more than 20 riders, Reed reached the quarterfinals for the third time in a row – somehow.
“I started doing my burnout and thought, ‘Hey that’s a lot of smoke. That’s kinda weird,’ ” Reed said of his first-round matchup with veteran Shawn Gann. “The next thing I know, there’s fire right underneath my handlebars. The main power line shorted out, and I thought ‘I’m done for sure. There’s no way, I know it.’ They tried one last time, and just as the starter was about to turn around and shut me off, it worked.”
Granted the last-second reprieve, Reed made the most of it, getting the jump on Gann by a full three-hundredths of a second and driving away for a 7.23 to 7.27 win. The 7.23 was the fifth-quickest run of the round, the highest Reed has ranked in any elimination round or qualifying session in his brief seven-race career. “I can’t believe Shawn waited that long – that was cool of him,” Reed said. “I thanked him four or five times. I seriously thought it was all over right there.”
It really was over in the quarterfinals when one of the throttle blades broke and closed. Reed had just gotten off the starting line side by side with eventual winner Andrew Hines, who also spent his high school years in Colorado, in Trinidad, but the race was over before the 100-foot mark when his bike started sputtering and slowed. “I just shut it off,” Reed said. “He kinda got lucky. He ran a .23, and I was about to run a .20.”
Still, it was another successful weekend for the PSE/Star Racing team, which maintained its place just outside the Top 10 in the championship standings, ahead of former national event champions Hector Arana Jr., Michael Phillips, and Gann. “I’m don’t want to sound overconfident, but I honestly think it’s feasible to be in the Top 10 by Indy,” Reed said. “Other people are starting to struggle, and we’re moving up. [Star Racing team owner George Bryce] can bounce the tune-ups from my bike and [teammate] Angelle Sampey]’s bike off each other. It helps us both. Her bike keeps going faster and faster, and that means my mine’s going to, too.”