Tag: reed (Page 1 of 3)


Venturing into the shark-infested waters of in-house engine building for the first time, Cory Reed and Team Liberty pulled off a debut that could only be termed a success at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at “America’s Race Track,” Summit Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Reed and teammate Joey Gladstone, who made the painful decision to skip Chicago to focus entirely on to the unimaginable leap to being their own engine builders, exceeded their stated goal of coming back at Denver by making it to Norwalk.

“I definitely didn’t expect to be here,” Reed said. “This is all of us together – [crew chief/tuner] Cecil [Towner], Joey, me, everybody under this awning. We all contribute. We never thought we’d make it back before Denver, but everything looked good when we dynoed our stuff, so we thought, ‘What the hell? Let’s go to Norwalk.’ We used to make peak power at 7,000 [rpm]. We leave at almost 7,000. Now, we’re making peak power at about 10,000, and these things spend a lot more time up around 10,000 than they do at 7,000, so we figured we’d run better than we were and we are.”

Opposite Angie Smith, wife of reigning NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith, for the first time in his career, Reed was off like a shot with a .028 reaction time in the first round and a 1.06-second 60-foot time, his best all weekend. “That told me the clutch tune-up was back where it should be,” he said. “At the 330-foot mark, I could tell I was in front of her. At 660 feet [half-track], she was driving up on me. She was definitely moving on me at 1,000 feet and probably had a good bike on me at the finish line. I thought I could win with a .020-something light and I had one, but I guess we still need to run better. I don’t even care. We’re leaving here with the motors we came with. We didn’t tear anything up all weekend, and that was our whole goal: stop hurting parts.”


YNot/PSE teammates Cory Reed and Joey Gladstone just missed a highly anticipated head-to-head second-round showdown at the Virginia Nationals when Reed was unceremoniously dumped by Hector Arana Jr. in the first round of eliminations. Gladstone put away 2009 NHRA champion Hector Arana Sr. in another first-round match, so another Arana-Arana matchup in the quarterfinals never materialized, either.

Reed assumed the early qualifying lead with a straight-down-the-groove 6.969 at 192 mph off the trailer. He slowed to a 7.13/188 Friday evening, improved incrementally to a 6.962 at just short of 194 mph Saturday in Q3 that left him smack in the middle of the pack, and entered eliminations mired in the No. 14 position after a dispiriting 7.02/191 Saturday afternoon.

Pitted against Las Vegas winner Arana Jr., who now stands third in the 2019 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle standings, Reed managed just a 7.10 187 mph – two-tenths of a second and 10 mph off what he’s capable of, in a discouraging loss to the perennial title contender’s 6.90-flat at 197 mph minutes after Gladstone had dispatched Arana Sr. with what surprisingly was technically the first holeshot win of his NHRA career. “I’ve left on a lot of people and have this reputation for being really good on the lights,” said Gladstone, who whipped the senior Arana’s 6.97/194 with a slower won 7.00/191, “but that’s the first time I’ve ever actually won on a holeshot.”


Right off the trailer at Atlanta Dragway, which has hosted major events since the IHRA glory days of the 1970s, Cory Reed sped to a 6.98 at more than 192 mph that qualified him No. 3 at the time. Following an aborted 14-second time in the second session opposite veteran Karen Stoffer, he rolled silently across the finish line in the never-good upright position at 49 silent mph in Q3 and entered last-shot qualifying an uncustomarily low 12th on the provisional grid, eyeing something in the low 6.90s or high 6.80s on his final attempt.

Instead, Reed’s bike registered an unfulfilling 7.01 at 191 mph and he entered eliminations in the No. 12 qualifying spot. PSE/YNot teammate Joey Gladstone finished a couple spots ahead of him, 10th in the final order with an aggregate best of 6.94/193.99. Between them was 2009 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hector Arana Sr., who clocked in at 6.95/194.55.

Reed, who has never had any luck against 2016 world champion Jerry Savoie, his first-round foe, blasted off the line with a clutch .026 light, but for once he didn’t get the best of even that battle. Savoie, never known for his reaction times, outdid him with an even better .013 bulb and pulled away for a 6.91/192 to 7.01/191 round-win, his fifth in five head-to head-matchups with the former motocross racer. To compound the YNot’s team’s frustration, Gladstone came out on the wrong end of a hard-fought first-round encounter with Ryan Oehler in which both drivers cut killer .015 lights, 6.92/195 to 6.95/192, despite holding the lead to half-track.


After dropping valves in the second session of Four-Wide Nationals qualifying and more or less levelling the engine, 2016 Rookie of the Year Cory Reed took a quantum leap forward in last-shot qualifying Saturday afternoon with a 6.95 in the thin desert air of Las Vegas that propelled him all the way to the No. 6 spot – higher than he’s qualified since Chicago last June.

“We’ve been thinking we were underpowered, but we’ve been overpowered this whole time,” Reed said. “We toned it down for that last qualifying session and got it down through there for a good run. Just by adding a little timing, the bike picked up three- or four-hundredths [of a second] in the first 60 feet.”

Free to pick any of three of the four lanes for the first round of eliminations and thinking big after an outstanding qualifying performance, Reed seemed better positioned to go rounds than he’s been all year. Instead, he was gone after a single round of eliminations. It certainly wasn’t the best quad he could have hoped for – two of the other three drivers were past world champions (Jerry Savoie and Eddie Krawiec) – but Reed needed only to outrun one of them and No. 14 qualifier Freddie Camarena to advance. He sped across the finish line well ahead of Camarena, as expected, but trailed both Krawiec (6.90) and Savoie (6.94) with a disappointing 7.12.

“That was my fault,” Reed later admitted. “I over-revved 1st gear and ‘double-buttoned’ 2nd, and bam – there goes your whole run. I pulled on Jerry through the middle but ran out of room before the finish line got there. I staged super, super shallow that time, thinking, ‘If I just go green, I can win with another .95,’ but I was thinking too much up there. I had a .046 light – not terrible, but nowhere near what I’m capable of because I had death grip on it as I staged. ” ‘Relax,’ I told myself. But whenever you do that, it’s always right when the tree comes on. I almost short-shifted another gear, but I caught myself and thought, ‘Noooo, don’t do that,’ and ended up hitting the rev-limiter. I just have to get back to what I already know how to do.”


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.”


Back on the bike after team boss Cory Reed had to substitute for him in Las Vegas, Joey Gladstone reeled off some of his best runs of the season and ranked among the top drivers deep into qualifying. After ripping off a 6.88 in the second of four sessions for the No. 5 spot on the provisional grid, Gladstone settled into the No. 11 spot on the final ladder with that time and backed it up with a nearly as good 6.90-flat.

Heading into eliminations, Gladstone had a nice stack of E.T. slips to build from: 6.96/193, 6.88/196, another 6.963/193, and a 6.90/193. His first-round opponent turned out to be about as tough as it gets – 2016 Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Jerry Savoie, but Gladstone was only had a few hundredths of a second behind him, 6.83 to 6.88.

Trying to get a jump on Savoie, who has come out on the wrong end of a few holeshot decisions over the years, an overanxious Gladstone jumped the gun by the invisible margin of just 1/50th of a second. His -.023 red-light start invalidated a 7.01 at 192 mph and advanced the always-tough alligator farmer from the bayous of Mississippi, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a run that would have been hard to get around anyway, 6.83. It was a disappointing end to the 2018 season for Gladstone, but with a full-time ride with Team Liberty for the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello campaign, there are bigger and better things ahead.


Pressed into service when Joey Gladstone’s jet-ski romp on the Colorado River days before the Toyota Nationals ended in a 70-mph tumble and a bruised tailbone, Cory Reed entered his first NHRA event since he climbed off the bike at Indy to grant his much lighter teammate the opportunity of a lifetime. In the end, it might have been better had Gladstone been healthy enough to ride.

Fit as a fiddle and skinny as a rail, Reed is still at a distinct competitive disadvantage, too tall and too heavy for his Buell-powered Team Liberty XBR. The former NHRA Rookie of the Year opened qualifying with an off-pace 7.17 at 190 mph, followed with a similar 7.13 at 190 mph Friday afternoon, and picked up about a tenth of a second Saturday but still found himself a few hundredths short of the all-6-second field after back-to-back 7.0s at 190.

Reed wound up 19th on the final qualifying sheet, a couple of ticks behind Katie Sullivan and many-time national event winner Karen Stoffer and ahead of veteran Freddie Camarena, former Division 7 bike champ Anthony Vanetti, and newcomer Maurice Allen. When the tour wraps up at the NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., in two weeks, Gladstone will be back on the seat, and when the 2019 season opens in Gainesville next March, Reed will be riding a lighter, faster, more competitive bike.




In his fifth start astride Cory Reed’s Team Liberty Buell, Yellow Corn rider Joey Gladstone got faster and faster in almost every qualifying session and entered Carolina Nationals eliminations primed to give Vance & Hines test rider Chip Ellis all he could handle. Gladstone got off the line within thousandths of a second of the 2008 championship runner-up, but that was the last time he was in the race.

Ellis pulled away with an outstanding 6.77 – low e.t. of the entire event – while Gladstone could only watch him increase his lead with every shift after bogging hard off the line. Qualified 15th and down exactly a tenth of a second heading into their first-round heat, Gladstone wasn’t exactly the favorite against the No. 2 seed, but Ellis doubled the distance between them in qualifying (6.80 to 6.90) to an insurmountable two-tenths of a second, 6.77 to 6.97.

But despite entering eliminations in the second-to-last spot, Gladstone wasn’t out of contention. He’d already outpaced five non-qualifiers to make the Sunday field and stepped it up in virtually every session of qualifying with times of 7.01/193, 6.99/193, 6.90/192, and 6.92/194. For a No. 15 qualifier, he wasn’t far from the top – less than a tenth of a second, actually, with a 6.903 to No. 1 Eddie Krawiec’s 6.806 – but against low E.T. of the meet, no one would’ve had a chance.


In his first outing with all-time Pro Stock greats Larry Morgan and Jim Yates in the fold, 2016 NHRA Rookie of the Year Cory Reed went rounds at the season-opening Gatornationals, sidelining new national record holder Hector Arana Jr. with a clutch holeshot in the first round. Arana, who became the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to eclipse 200 mph in Friday qualifying and upped the all-time mark to 201.01 mph Saturday, got left in the dust by Reed’s near-perfect .007 reaction time, falling to a 6.95/191 despite his quicker 6.94/198.

“I didn’t think we’d outrun him, but I knew we’d be close enough to beat him,” said Reed, who, in his brief time in drag racing, has already established himself as a leaver. “My mindset was that I absolutely could win, and when I left it felt like a good light – I even did a double-take as I went by the Tree to make sure it wasn’t red. Halfway down the track, I still didn’t hear him, and when I glanced over a couple times at about half-track, he wasn’t there. In high gear, it hit me: I’m going to win.’ ”

Reed qualified 13th in the field, well behind Arana’s 6.80/201 record run with a 6.91 at 191.67 mph – not bad for the first outing with an all-new setup. “We tested in Orlando before the race,” he said. “We were still down there Thursday, the day before qualifying started for this race, and didn’t pull into Gainesville until late Thursday night.”

The results of the team’s focused, intense testing were obvious when Gainesville qualifying began and everybody was playing for keeps. “First race of the year, and we already have a round-win,” said Reed, currently eighth in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle standings. “Last year, it took us more than half a season to get this far. Larry had the motors running great, redid pretty much everything, worked his magic. Jim’s smart. He’ll be helping us for a few more races, at least. He has all these crazy formulas and spreadsheets. He set up his own office in the trailer – even brought his own printer – and when it comes to the transmission, gear ratios, clutch tuning, he really knows his stuff. After this, my goal is to at least go a few rounds like we did here at every race for the rest of the year.”


With their backs to the wall after blowing up an engine on the first qualifying run and skipping the second one, Cory Reed and Team Liberty rebounded Saturday morning with a 6.97 to move into the Lucas Oil Nationals Pro Stock Motorcycle field for good.

At Brainerd International Raceway, where the quickest runs in Top Fuel and Funny Car history were recorded Friday night, Reed wheeled his Team Liberty machine to a decent 6.97 at 187 mph Saturday morning and a consistent 6.98 at 186 that afternoon to solidify his position in the final lineup.

Pitted against Top 10 rider and No. 4 qualifier Scotty Pollacheck in the first round, Reed left Pollacheck at the line and sped away for his first round-win of the season and the first ever for Team Liberty, 6.94 to 6.96. “I looked over somewhere in high gear and nobody was there,” he said. “I had to look behind me to find him. That was the best feeling ever: we’re going to win. Actually, I felt that way even before I ran him, when I woke up Sunday morning. That’s the first time I can say I honestly felt that way all year.”

Reed fell in the next round to year-long nemesis and eventual runner-up L.E. Tonglet, the runaway points leader, who has won as many races this year as all other riders combined – but not before getting another holeshot head start. Reed opened up a huge early advantage, but Tonglet drove around him with, naturally, his strongest run of the weekend, a 6.85. Reed trailed with a 6.96, but at that point, it almost didn’t matter.

“I felt like I won the whole race when we won the first round,” Reed said. “I didn’t even need to make another run after that. It’s tough, starting a new team like this. We knew it was going to be, and it has been. But after a weekend like this, I can finally see what’s ahead of us down the road.”

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