Tag: pro stock bike


In their first appearance of the 2019 NHRA season and everyone’s first on Gainesville Raceway’s all-new million-dollar track surface, Cory Reed led early Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying and teammate Joey Gladstone lasted all the way to the semifinals, tying the best finish of his young career.

Reed picked up from his opening 6.93 to a 6.91 at more than 195 mph that miraculously wound up good for only the bump, 16th in a 16-bike field, and paired him up against Andrew Hines, who took the pole with the quickest run in NHRA history, 6.72. Under first-round pressure and lined up opposite the toughest possible opponent, Reed improved still more, dipping into the 6.80s with a 6.87, but Hines was out of reach with another 6.7-second blast, a 6.78.

Two pair ahead of him, Gladstone, matched up with former YNot/PSE team rider Angelle Sampey, shot off the line with a telepathic .002 reaction time for an insurmountable lead on Sampey’s late .120 light on her first official leave with Vance & Hines’ world-famous Harley-Davidson team. Both covered the quarter-mile with nearly identical E.T.s, and Gladstone got the best of a 6.87-6.88 decision not nearly as close as the elapsed times alone would indicate.

“Joey did great,” Reed said of his teammate, who catapulted from the No. 11 qualifying position (6.855), to a spot in the final four. Said Gladstone, “Before I saw the E.T. slip, when I first heard that it was 6.87 to 6.88, I was thinking, ‘Man, I hope I ran the .88 and she ran the .87 so I beat her on a holeshot’. I led the class in reaction-time average with something in the low .020s my first year and have a reputation as the best leaver out here but I’ve never actually won a round on a holeshot.”

After leaving on Sampey and then outrunning her, Gladstone trailered an even bigger name in the quarterfinals – reigning world champ Matt Smith, who knew he was in trouble before he staged and never made it to the finish line. “He was trying to mess with me on the line, but I knew what he was doing, so it didn’t affect me,” said Gladstone, who easily advanced to the semifinals with by far his best run of the weekend, a 6.81. It gave him lane choice over former series champion Eddie Krawiec, who bogged off the line in a lucky 6.92 win over Jimmy Underdahl, who had him beat until his engine blew in high gear.

In the semi’s, Gladstone left on Krawiec and would have made his first final had he not dropped a couple hundredths of a second from his earlier performance in a close but disappointing 6.81-6.85 loss. “That time, I actually felt like I had a good chance to beat Eddie,” Gladstone said. “It gets a little easier as the rounds go on, believe it or not. The pressure actually goes down – at least until you get to the final.”


There’s no getting around it – the Lucas Oil Nationals was a major disappointment for Cory Reed, probably the low point of the former NHRA Rookie of the Year’s young career. Seventeenth is nowhere to be in a 16-bike field – especially when only 18 teams show up.

“I think our motors were hurt when we got here,” Reed said. “Every run, it felt like the bike wasn’t going anywhere.” It wasn’t. Reed, who has run well down into the 6.80s and was getting used to going rounds in eliminations against even the biggest stars of Pro Stock Motorcycle, fell flat with a 7.14 at just 185 mph Friday afternoon, skipped the Friday night session, and missed the all-6-second field Saturday afternoon with back-to-back 7.0s at 191 mph.

With an aggregate best of 7.040/191.35, Team Liberty fell short of the 6.99 bump spot by a half-tenth. “It’s not as bad as it looks,” Reed insisted. “We’ve made progress. We’ve learned things. Ever since Charlotte or Atlanta, it’s looked like we’ve been moving backwards and I guess to a lot of people we have, but a lot of the moves we’ve made have taught us what not to do. And they won’t happen again. I’m OK with everything. It’s not showing up on the race track, I know, but we’re making progress.”


Cory Reed may have been knocked out early in his final race for the PSE/Star Racing team, but it did little to detract from a wildly successful rookie season that ended with him as a prohibitive favorite to capture the prestigious 2016 Road to the Future NHRA Rookie of the Year award.

At the NHRA Finals at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, Reed, the only rookie to make the Top 10 in any professional category this year, came out on the wrong end of a first-round matchup with the toughest possible opponent, reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ and two-time Finals winner Andrew Hines.

After beating his first-round opponent exactly two-thirds of the time in 2016 – an almost unprecedented feat for a first-year rider – Reed slipped to a 7.15 at 188.10 mph, well short of his qualifying time and far short of the unbeatable 6.88/194.52 put up by Hines, who had to defeat Reed to stay in contention for another championship.

Reed’s first qualifying run turned out to be his best all weekend, a 6.911/192.80 that had him way up in the No. 5 qualifying spot at the time. Subsequent runs of 7.017/191.43, 7.212/188.94, and 6.987/192.03 didn’t improve his position, and he settled in the No. 13 spot for eliminations, his third-worst starting position all year.

Teammate Angelle Sampey, who will join Reed’s all-new Team Liberty Racing operation as team manager and a fellow rider for 2017, still had a mathematical shot late in the season at what would have been her fourth career NHRA championship. She reached the final in her last ride for Star Racing, falling to Matt Smith, who scored for the first time in more than three years.

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